Moore Park residents fear flooding over drainage issues

MOORE Park Beach community members fear their town will flood if significant, and immediate, action is not taken to resolve drainage issues.

They say despite the population of Moore Park Beach growing from 600 to 2500 since 1960, no upkeep of the drainage system past the tidal bund on Gengers Rd has been undertaken in the past 30 years.

The Moore Park Beach Community Association took its concerns to the State Government this month, describing flood mitigation works undertaken by Bundaberg Regional Council as "incomplete".

In September last year, the council implemented a $100,000 upgrade of the Moore Park bund, but the Moore Park Beach Community Association said the real issue lay beyond the bund.

A 31-page document has now been created by Moore Park Beach Community Association assistant secretary George Shuter for the community group and sent to Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell.

"I urge that the DEHP give earnest consideration to the proposal of clearing 'the bottleneck' drain below the Gengers Rd tidal bund. Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman has said that BRC has reached the boundary of its jurisdiction with the construction of the new Gengers tidal bund," it reads.

The group described the "bottleneck" as a build-up of silt, lying between the ocean and the tidal bund, built in mid-1960. "The increased housing and road infrastructure has put additional pressure on the system.

The silting of this bottleneck, by neglect and previous floods, now prevents any tide below 3.03m from reaching the tidal bund, acting as a 3m dam for water on the town side of the bund," the document said.

The group predicted that if no work were done to clear the silting, the price would continue to increase.

"The costs, to date, has escalated from an original quote of $20,000 to excavate the bottleneck with a floatation pad machine to minimise environmental damage, to over $500,000 for Cardno, BRC reports and work," Mr Shuter wrote.

Cardno is an infrastructure and environmental services company commissioned by the council to prepare three options for improving drainage in Moore Park Beach.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the report, titled Cardno Report 2011, cost the council $150,000.

In the submission to the State Government, the Moore Park group dissects the report, in a section titled "Contending the Cardno Report 2011 as gospel".

While Mr Bennett agreed that the drain was "obviously silted up", he said the intention was to wait for a few more king tides before undertaking further works.

"We're not about to go over or under an engineers' report," he said.

He said the implementation of the Cardno Report's recommendation, the $100,000 work to upgrade the bund in line with the engineering report, needed time to prove itself. "We need to give a few more storms a chance to do their thing," Mr Bennett said.

"I have no doubt that if there's a need for the drains to be cleaned, we'll clean it."