Fitzroy Hotel, or Fitzroy Floatel, owner Tony Higgins pushes a tinny back towards the flooded Wood St, Depot Hill.
Fitzroy Hotel, or Fitzroy Floatel, owner Tony Higgins pushes a tinny back towards the flooded Wood St, Depot Hill. Chris Ison

Pub owner not bothered by third flood in three years

THIS is Tony Higgin's third year running the Fitzroy Hotel, which he has dubbed the Fitzroy Floatel, in Depot Hill. It is also his third flood.

But so long as the beers are cold and the company's good he's not complaining.

In 2011 the flood hit 9.2m, in 2012 it hit 7.5m and tonight it is set to peak at 8.7m.

"You don't complain about the noise when you buy a house next to the airport," Tony says.

"This year it's not deep enough for boats, but it's too deep to walk. It's more of an inconvenience really."

While the watering hole is a little quieter than usual, Tony still has his loyal clientele braving the water to reach the hotel when it's open each afternoon.

"The locals are coming in to break the boredom."

Tony says no one in Depot Hill appeared particularly bothered by the flood, but there were some people frustrated by sightseers coming through the area.

His positive attitude is a reflection of those of many people in the tight-knit Depot Hill community.

Deputy Mayor Tony Williams, the chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, this morning dismissed any ideas to move the community to higher ground to avoid future flooding heartbreak.

But said it would be a good idea to reconsider town planning rules.

"The Depot Hill community are very passionate and proud of their community," Cr Williams said.

"They see the floods come and go, it's just getting in and cleaning up. Unfortunately the events seem to be occurring a bit more commonly now. It's something we really need to consider and look at that in our future planning."



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