Landry to seek guidance over key Rocky flood levee move
MP MICHELLE Landry has conceded she is not sure of the way forward to handle a vocal minority who refuse to listen to experts about the proposed $60m South Rockhampton Flood Levee.
Speaking after more than 150 people attended Monday night's community forum, Ms Landry was yesterday unsure about how to handle this group, saying she would seek guidance from the office of Acting Prime Minster Barnaby Joyce.
The Capricornia MP praised the expert engineers for their levee presentation at Monday night's forum. However, she said there were still legitimate questions that needed answering.
She singled out the issues of:
- A lack of consultation with affected landholders whose lives are currently "in limbo";
- Who will pay for future acquisitions;
- A lack of detail surrounding protection of the airport; and
- The impact of a major weather event during the time of a flood.
Asked about those people who didn't accept the experts' answers, Ms Landry said: "I don't know...I'm not quite sure where I'm going from here.
"I'll talk to Barnaby Joyce's office a bit more and see how we move forward. I'm actually thinking of getting someone up from Minister Joyce's office as an expert so they can understand exactly what those engineers are talking about. There were people there definitely against it, but certainly there were some sensible questions as well...there are still concerns."
She said the owners of the 33 affected blocks should be contacted and informed of the situation "whether the project goes ahead or not".
She wants Rockhampton Airport protected.
While Ms Landry was reluctant to put any time frames on her decision-making process, she pointed out the EIS had yet to be done for the project and the planning application had yet to be submitted, which was a Queensland Government legislative requirement.
"I want to say, I am taking this very seriously," Ms Landry said.
"People do get seriously impacted by the floods...they're the people that we do want to protect and the businesses along Gladstone Rd."
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said the cost of land purchases and easements was included in the current council budget, with "land acquisition never covered by Federal Grants".
"Now that the Council budget has been approved, we will begin negotiations and acquisitions," Cr Strelow said.