OPINION: Landry needs to drive, not drown, levee push
MORNING Bulletin editor Frazer Pearce says Michelle Landy needs to play a key role in driving a major project that would help protect many in Rockhampton from future floods.
The following is his opinion.
INSTEAD of talking down the South Rockhampton levee bank project, Michelle Landry should be driving it.
The Member for Capricornia should be looking at the solid case for building it rather than fanning the flames of irrational discontent.
She has sat back for much of this debate and listened to unreasonable fears based on unfounded hearsay and paranoia.
She should be listening to the expert engineers who have constructed these types of flood mitigation projects across the world and the economists who have weighed up its economic benefits
That's what I'd be doing.
I'd be seeking the facts and not listening and nodding my head to the fear mongers.
This happens in my job. I hear allegations and then I test them.
This takes me back to the early 2000s when an international water expert referred to Rockhampton as "a basket case” because this city was one of the last in Australia to adopt a user pays system for water consumption.
Rockhampton didn't want to do it but the council was forced to otherwise government funding would have been cut. No overwhelming community support there, but it was the sensible thing to do.
Forget about the claims there would be a disaster if the levee bank failed.
You need to put your faith in experts who know what they are doing rather than listen to the vocal minority pushing their own agendas and those seeking political mileage.
That takes me to the levee surveys and and how you can get a different result based on how you asked a question.
Ms Landry says 80% of people didn't want it in her survey while a CQUniversity survey of 400 of the 49,294 residents aged over 18 and found there was 95% confidence in the proposal.
Hmm? What an amazing difference. You can usually get the answer you want by how you frame a question.
I say yes to the levee bank.