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Bundaberg East flood levee business case being finalised, federal funding dependent on detail

By Nicole Hegarty, Johanna Marie and Russell Varley, Monday January 25, 2021 - 13:14 EDT
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The cost of the Bundaberg East levee has more than doubled to $80 million since the initial concept. - ABC

The Federal Government has asked for more detail before contributing the $40 million needed for Bundaberg East's flood levee to proceed.

A total of $42.5 million has been allocated by the State Government towards the project over the forward estimates but construction is dependent on federal funding.

The Commonwealth says it is yet to receive the state's business case for the levee.

Existing plans have shown the levee would run along the southern bank of the Burnett River, along Quay Street and behind the sugar mill and protect up to 600 properties.

Queensland Labor promised to fund half of the project during a visit to the city ahead of last year's state election.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles has since written to the Commonwealth regarding funding for the levee.

Funding dependent on business case

A spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Government expected to see a business case prior to allocating funding.

"The Australian Government is committed to continuing to invest in priority infrastructure for the Bundaberg region that is identified in consultation with partners including the Queensland government, local government and the community," she said.

"As indicated by the Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, the government expects to see a business case."

State Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the business case was being finalised.

"The department is finalising the business case and we'll be presenting that to the Federal Government as soon as that's done," he said.

"Once we know that we have the support of the Federal Government there'll be a couple of key design finalisations that need to happen.

"The project is approximately three years to construct and that's why we're really keen to get on with the job."

Tribute to community resilience

This month marks eight years since devastating .

Mayor Jack Dempsey said progressing with the Levee to reduce flooding risk was a "no brainer".

"The state's contributed the $42.5 million to the levee and we're really pushing to get the match from he Federal Government to protect those people from South and East Bundaberg," he said.

"When those disasters came the Bundaberg people stepped up and showed how they could not just deal with the disaster but how they could recover from it as well.

"A lot of people didn't get recognised but they know the importance of helping others."


© ABC 2021

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