READER'S VIEW: Approval by council is where fault lies
I REFER to the article of Saturday, October 17, (P19, Help may be coming for flood-prone homes) where a spokesperson for Rockhampton Council said council was seeking State and Federal Government funding for buyback or house-lifting funds to assist those who suffer as a result of flooding. The spokesperson said it is not council's fault homeowners suffer these events. Well, then who approved the subdivisions for residential in flash flood areas? Fundamentally it is council's fault because council had the power to refuse a subdivision but let it go through.
In known flood-prone areas subdivisions should not be approved. Period. Stop this practice where naïve out-of-town buyers are presented with an approved house in an approved subdivision with the implicit assurance 'it doesn't flood here'. What does council think this does to investor confidence? "Come and buy a house in Rockhampton and try your luck in the flash flood lottery."
Council has now introduced the local creek hazard mapping (mandated by State Government) which limits future development, but meanwhile we have a backlog of approved subdivisions and approved houses, and council is responsible for those existing situations. We also have council approving the diversion or filling of gullies, which can create flood hazards where previously there was none.
There are quite a few people in Division 3 (Koongal, Berserker and Lakes Creek) suffering because of council's poor decision-making. Their properties are being damaged, their lives upended and prospects for selling up at a price that will enable them to buy elsewhere are dim (ie actual economic loss).
Of course council is responsible, and funds should be made available for house lifting, or land swaps offered, to get residents out of danger.
Disclaimer: These are my personal views and not of my employer.
Candidate for Division 3 in 2016 council election