Rocky's notorious flood affected property finally dealt with
THE four year saga of Maxi Bader's notorious flood-damaged house on Elphinstone St, is finally getting closure.
The Rockhampton Regional Council announced today that it had entered into a contract to purchase the well-known flood-affected property at 222 Elphinstone Street and left the door open for future flooded property purchases.
The $350,000 property hit the headlines in February 2013 when it was struck by flash flooding from ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald on Rockhampton's second wettest day on record.
At the time, the property was not listed in the Q100 area and was not expected to go under during floods.
Rockhampton Building Approval's building surveyor Bruce Krenske said it was State Government land, sold to a developer and they were engaged to do the building approval only and they did everything possible they could.
"We could see no reason not to approve the dwelling,” Mr Krenske said.
"It was not identified as flood prone, it was a residential house, we did a thorough search for more 'overlay maps' that may have existed to stop us and nothing came up.”
It was only when Rockhampton Regional Council did further mapping two years later that it was identified to be in a flood zone.
RRC general manager regional services Peter Kofod said it was an unfortunate set of circumstances.
"This property was affected by creek flooding, not river flooding, and at that stage the creek mapping had not been done and our heart goes out to the family affected by these circumstances,” Mr Koford said.
Mayor Margaret Strelow said the decision was made to purchase the house in June as part of council's Floodplain Management Risk Study and Plan for catchments including Frenchmans and Thozet Creek.
"Maxi Bader's story is well known around Rockhampton,” Cr Strelow said.
"Although Council did not create the situation that this young woman found herself in, we have stepped in accordance with our policy to purchase a property for which there is no other viable alternative.
"Council has had good river flood mapping for decades and has now completed creek mapping for this catchment.
"Creek mapping wasn't legislated, it was an added step we've undertaken to help protect our community.”
She said creek mapping would prevent a low set house being built on that site.
Cr Strelow she said had always supported the idea of council stepping in when they could to help make people's lives better and that is what there were doing in this circumstance.
"This is not the first time that Council has considered this particular matter so I am grateful for Councillors' support on this most recent occasion to allow us to proceed with the purchase,” she said.
"Council is buying this property at the price the house was valued at by an independent valuer.
"This is in line with our flood mitigation policy where Council can purchase property where mitigation is not an option.
"We plan to allocate a figure in the annual budget to for mitigation generally and there are limited number of similar properties.”
She said what this particular situation has highlighted within the community was the high level of community support for Council to step in and assist flood affected home owners.
"We can do that for many, many more residents in a much more cost effective way by building the South Rockhampton Flood Levee which will assist more residents at a much lower price per property,” Cr Strelow said.
"For today though, I am sure there are a lot of residents in our community who, like myself, are glad Council has stepped in to give this young woman her life back,” Mayor Strelow said.
The property is due to settle in November and because of confidentiality agreements, council and Maxi Bader were unable to disclose the purchase price.
Council will be looking at demolishing the property and possibly incorporating it into the park in the future.
Maxi Bader has told the media that she is thankful to the Rockhampton Regional Council and the community for their support.