Gympie council seeks federal funds for flood leveeBy Bruce Atkinson, Wednesday August 7, 2013 - 10:57 EST
The Gympie council is writing to the Federal Government and Coalition seeking an election commitment to flood-proof the south-east Queensland city.
Gympie has flooded five times in two years and a mitigation study has found a levee would stop regular inundation of the CBD.
The levee will cost almost $23 million and a new access road allowing large businesses on the southern outskirts to stay open in flooding will cost more than $4 million.
Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne says it is imperative the project proceeds.
"I think the 'reputational' benefit for Gympie is quite high," he said.
"I know people have used the argument that a lot of people are paying for a few people's advancement but I think you've got to look at it as a reputational side of Gympie so that we're not known as the flood capital of Australia.
"We need to be able to prevent those floods coming into the CBD."
Councillor Dyne is calling on the state and federal governments to foot the bulk of the multi-million dollar bill.
"We are in the process at the present moment of writing letters to both parties indicating to our local Member ... Warren Truss and also to the Government at the present moment via Mr Albanese, who's the infrastructure portfolio holder, and we will be writing to them asking if they can support our application for funding to the Commonwealth," he said.
Election wish list
Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson wants the Federal Government and Coalition to honour commitments to upgrade the Bruce Highway.
As part of his wish list, Cr Jamieson also wants the new government to support the Valdora solar farm project and a plan to help struggling small businesses.
Cr Jamieson also wants funding for the proposed airport upgrade.
"I'd also like to see a government committed to assisting the agricultural sector," he said.
"We talk about being the food bowl of Asia and all the opportunity that exists there but I don't think there's nearly enough being done to help people on the land, to help develop those markets and to help develop the sort of boutique industries, particularly around the Sunshine Coast that will help us capitalise on the new opportunity.
"I'm looking to the future and I think certainly it's inevitable we will have a couple of new members and perhaps one continuing member in the form of Warren Truss, who I think looks pretty safe in the seat of Wide Bay and he takes in the northern part of the Sunshine Coast.
"I think that's probably a good thing, two new members, whoever they might be, [a] fresh approach and dedicated to the cause."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
The damage caused by last week's flood is becoming clearer across the Shoalhaven, as the clean up continues.
Yesterday, much of South Australia was being battered by a low pressure system, sending gusty showers onshore.
A band of thunderstorms swept across NSW and QLD late last night and into this morning, bringing a thundery alarm.