Ann Bichel, Ian Rickuss MP, Bert Flanagan, and Geoff Turnbull are all Forrest Hill residents, who are discussing the Queensland Flood Commission Report.
Ann Bichel, Ian Rickuss MP, Bert Flanagan, and Geoff Turnbull are all Forrest Hill residents, who are discussing the Queensland Flood Commission Report. Contributed

'Did the flood teach them nothing?'

QUEENSLAND Rail's decision not to flood-proof the rail lines in the Lockyer Valley following last year's flood has left a local MP scratching his head.

LNP Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss said the lack of drainage along the rail line turned it into a levee bank.

The recently released Flood Commission Report states that Queensland Rail did not consider improvements to the line after the flood were warranted.

"No other specific improvements were seen as being necessary, on either the metropolitan or the regional track systems, including on the West Moreton line running through the Lockyer Valley from Rosewood to Toowoomba," it reads.

The report said QR upgraded rail lines only in central Queensland with other lines restored to pre-flood condition.

"This meant restoring the network to its former 'flood-proof ' status without making improvements to the flood immunity of any of its railways."

The section of the report stunned Mr Rickuss.

"The Inquiry should have asked residents of many of the towns and villages including Laidley, Forest Hill, Grantham and Murphy's Creek about the devastation and inundation caused by the lack of appropriate culverts under the railway lines to allow the water to flow through and stop the railway lines acting as levee banks," he said.

Mr Rickuss said residents across the Valley and especially in Forest Hill, where the train lines run through the middle of the town, were concerned no lessons had been learnt from the flood that devastated their town.

However, a QR spokesman said drainage along the line was an ongoing concern.

"Queensland Rail is committed to working with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council and all other stakeholders with regards to drainage along the West Moreton rail line," he said.

"Queensland Rail will wait until the final report of the Lockyer Creek Flood Study is tabled before making any major decisions on future upgrades."

Despite his concerns regarding their actions after the flood Mr Rickuss praised QR's behaviour in the days leading up to the disaster when they closed the track.



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