Planning disaster bites hard

HOW ON EARTH? Bronwyn Bridges can’t understand why her home was built 800mm from a drainage easement.
HOW ON EARTH? Bronwyn Bridges can’t understand why her home was built 800mm from a drainage easement. Allan Reinikka Rokabridges

THE result of an apparent planning disaster eight years ago was enough to draw almost all the region's politicians to Menkin Place in Frenchville on Saturday morning.

Bronwyn Bridges is staying with her parents at Zilzie after rain from Cyclone Marcia washed away great chunks of her land, built only 800mm from a drainage easement. Her home is now uninhabitable.

About 50 residents attended the street meeting on Saturday, which Bronwyn described as "heated".

"People were very frustrated… a lot of people were upset about the water issues going back longer than me," she said.

"One lady said every time there is a big rain the drainage easement gets wider by metres.

"Michelle Landry told me she was so glad she'd come because no photo or email could have made her realise how bad it was.

"Brittany Lauga is a town planner and she couldn't understand how they could approve a subdivision and put a house 800mm from the drainage easement.

"It's a beautiful home built in a dreadful spot... my mistake was assuming they would never have put a house there if it was dangerous."

Since Saturday's meeting, Rockhampton Regional Council has contacted Bronwyn's insurance company and CEO Evan Pardon has received an engineering report.

Mayor Margaret Strelow said that the council was not trying to duck and weave but there were many homes and properties affected by the floods.

"On Monday morning, council established a joint taskforce with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines because ownership and approval for work in waterways is not straight forward," she said.

"As a result of this collaboration, council has begun clearing the many waterways in North Rockhampton."

Topics:  cyclone marcia disaster frenchville

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