Mayor makes fresh call to Feds to commit to levee
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey has joined the state government in calling on the commonwealth to commit to the Bundaberg East Flood Levee.
It comes as the business case for the levee has been completed and presented to the state government.
However, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt says the Deputy Prime Minister's department had not yet received the report.
Cr Dempsey said council was grateful the funds had been committed by the state government, but it was time for the feds to get on board by matching what was on the table.
"Please think of the thousands of people this impacts on a daily basis and give them peace of mind," he said.
"The consultation with the community, the hydro-engineer reports, the technical reports have gone on year, after year, after year.
"The consultation with the community has taken 185 projects down to a handful of main projects.
"While there's always going to be other projects into the future, what I call the East Promenade or East Flood Levee is instrumental for the future of the suburbs involved."
The proposal hasn't been without its detractors with some members of the community pushing for a flood evacuation route to be prioritised along with other flood mitigation measures and voicing concerns that the levy would increase flooding in other areas.
Cr Dempsey said he wanted to get rid of the "furphy" that the levee would impact other suburbs.
"No level of government can put their hand on the heart and say there hasn't been so much consultation and so much technical engineering put towards this project," he said.
"What it will also do is reduce the cost of insurance and increase the confidence of people investing.
"The community, the people on the ground have had enough of excuses they want to see this delivered and delivered in a timely manner."
Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said that the levee would not cause additional flooding to other areas in Bundaberg North.
"The flood levee is the best mitigation plan going forward, the modelling has been done," he said.
During his visit to Bundaberg on Tuesday, Deputy Premier Steven Miles met with council to discuss the levee.
"I understand we're on the same page as council in terms of what the most important flood mitigation initiatives are here in Bundaberg and we'll continue working with council to secure the additional funding required," he said.
"The state's funding is on the table, we've done the work and we think it's now time for the commonwealth to commit their funds.
"I've written the commonwealth indicating it's one of our leading priorities."
Mr Pitt said there were strict oversights over all federal government funding programs to ensure the "absolute best use of taxpayers' funds".
"It's a bit rich that the Queensland State Labor Government has taken eight years to determine what flood mitigation measures it will take and now they expect a response to a request that hasn't been received yet," he said.
"No reasonable person would expect that a $42.5 million request for funding will be approved overnight, even when it is received.
"There is strict oversight over all Federal Government funding programs to ensure the absolute best use of taxpayers' funds. Taxpayers deserve to know their funds are being spent responsibly and with full accountability, so decisions like this should not be rushed.
"We need to know, will this levee actually fix the problem? And how much community consultation has there been? Flood mitigation is a State Government responsibility and the Queensland State Labor Government should be consulting with the community far more than it has if it intends to divide the community with the proposed levee."