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Gympie green lights flood study

By Bruce Atkinson, Thursday March 7, 2013 - 12:25 EDT

A flood mitigation study will investigate the cost and best way of reducing the impact of regular inundation in Gympie in south-east Queensland.

Gympie has flooded five times in two years and twice in the past month.

The Gympie council will contribute $100,000 towards the flood study and it is hoped the State Government will provide a similar amount.

Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne says it will start as soon as possible and will consider the impact of flooding on the entire region.

"At least if we do an economic analysis of the whole thing ... it mightn't stack up that you can do anything, but we need to do those studies," he said.

"Just see what the economic analysis indicates so that ... if it's going to cost billions of dollars, then obviously ... you need to look at some other strategy.

"But I believe that there is some avenue there to do a flood mitigation."

Last year, council rejected a cheaper mitigation study and Councillor Dyne says the Federal Government will not provide funding until there is a plan.

"We should be providing the leadership and doing something," he said.

"If we'd agreed on $100,000 initially some time ago, we might have had a plan by now and we could have discussed it with the Commonwealth.

"But no - no plan because we're going to wait for a budget decisions and really now this takes it out of [of] that realm and we can get on with life and see what we can achieve."

'Too expensive'

Councillor Ian Petersen was one of those who voted against approving a flood mitigation study last year.

Council was expected to pay $60,000 and the State Government $40,000, but most voted to defer the study.

There have been two major floods since then but Cr Petersen was the only person to vote against the proposal yesterday, saying it is too expensive.

"I'm a firm believer in the budgetary process," he said.

"I believe that all council spending should be governed by the budgetary process.

"We can't just go rushing around making kneejerk decisions on spending ratepayers' money.

"It all has to be properly accounted for and the proper process is through a budget."


© ABC 2013

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