BUNDABERG EAST LEVEE: Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe , engineer Mark Schmidt and Mayor Jack Dempsey inspect a potential site for the Bundaberg East Levee project.
BUNDABERG EAST LEVEE: Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe , engineer Mark Schmidt and Mayor Jack Dempsey inspect a potential site for the Bundaberg East Levee project. Sarah Steger

Bundaberg East Levee will cut insurance costs: Mayor

ONE of four projects in Bundaberg's 10-year Action Plan could reduce the cost of insurance premiums.

Mayor Jack Dempsey yesterday told media the Bundaberg East Levee could reduce insurance costs, stimulate growth across Bundy as well as aid the region's 6500 small businesses and help both education and health options.

The announcement followed the inspection of a potential site for the levee, across Bundaberg Creek along Quay St.

During his visit to Bundaberg, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was "very focussed on making sure the project (was) one that (delivered) for the community".

However, Mr Hinchliffe said the only way the best outcome could be reached was if the community understood the options and had a say.

Bundaberg East levee site inspection: Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the upcoming community information session on June 6 was a good opportunity for locals to hear from an engineer about the next project in the Bundaberg 10-year Action Plan.
Bundaberg East levee site inspection: Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the upcoming community information session on June 6 was a good opportunity for locals to hear from an engineer about the next project in the Bundaberg 10-year Action Plan.

"Making available the best expert advice to the community is important to the Queensland Government as we consider these options," he said.

The 10-year Action Plan, funded by the State Government, was established in response to the 2013 floods which devastated the Bundy region.

The public will be able to ask questions and share their thoughts relating to the project at a community information session next week.

"It's a great opportunity to be involved in the decisions. We need to identify what's the right option, then we will consider when is the best time to deliver (the project)," Mr Hinchliffe said.

US engineer Mark Schmidt said the levee alignment would tie in with evacuation route options and community amenities that would all be considered when planning the project.

Flood mitigation: US engineering expert Mike Schmidt today joined Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey to inspect a potential site for the Bundaberg East Levee ahead of a community information session on June 6.
Flood mitigation: US engineering expert Mike Schmidt today joined Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey to inspect a potential site for the Bundaberg East Levee ahead of a community information session on June 6.

It will include a flood wall, gates to close and operate when the floods rise, and a pump station to manage the overall river system.

"(But) it is critical to include all local input," Mr Schmidt said.

"As we work through and finalise design features, we want to watch for unattended consequences ... To not cause adverse impacts offsite."

These features would directly deal with managing the flood wall and pumps.

Mr Schmidt said the plan for the levee was to make sure the benefits exceeded the costs.

Bundaberg East Levee: Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed engineer expert Mike Schmidt's expertise.
Bundaberg East Levee: Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed engineer expert Mike Schmidt's expertise.

"The team looked at different levee alignments and chose the one that was most suitable ... The one that provided the maximum benefit for the minimal cost, for maximum flood protection," he said.

Mr Schmidt said one goal was to reduce insurance premiums.

"A larger event could come along and insurance is one of the opportunities we have to mitigate that additional impact," he said.

Once a decision on the levee is made, there will be opportunity for all levels of government to provide funding.

 

Bundaberg flood mitigation: The project is designed to mitigate the effects of a major natural disaster and increase protection from flooding from the Burnett River within Bundaberg East, South and the CBD.
Bundaberg flood mitigation: The project is designed to mitigate the effects of a major natural disaster and increase protection from flooding from the Burnett River within Bundaberg East, South and the CBD.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the community would back the project option that provided the best outcome for the best value in the best time frame.

"What this levee and design in consultation comes up with in funding, in particular from the State Government and hopefully some from the Federal Government going forward as well, is that whatever the scenario and the particulars that go into the levee are, have to be supported by the community," he said.

"The levee and the engineering behind it is so important for the Bundaberg and Wide Bay region. It can only be seen as a positive step forward."

The Bundaberg East Levee project community information session will be held on June 6 between 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm at Bundaberg Business Enterprise Centre.