Council warn recent flooding has revealed a new threat to Rockhampton homes. Pictured is flood water Depot Hill.
Council warn recent flooding has revealed a new threat to Rockhampton homes. Pictured is flood water Depot Hill. Allan Reinikka ROK070417aflood25

Floods reveal unlikely threat on Rocky properties, authorities warn

THEY'RE classified as a shed, but "act like a boat” during the floods.

This was the simple explanation mayor Margaret Strelow offered as to why Rockhampton residents should recognise the potential dangers of storage containers.

When one of the massive structures near the Yeppen pass washed away and slammed into a neighbouring property during the floods, it raised alarms with councillor Ellen Smith.

Cr Smith brought up the unusual topic as a matter of urgency during council's planning and regulatory committee meeting yesterday, conceding it was the "nature of the region” that people use economic storage options, particularly on large properties.

But Cr Smith stressed residents needed to ensure they were safely fastened.

Planning and regulatory services manager, Steven Gatt said depending on inundation and flow during a flood event, the storage structures could cause an "incredible amount of danger”.

He confirmed under council legislation, shipping containers are classified as a structure, but conceded most people would not realise this was the case.

"There is no impediment to someone having a shipping container, putting it on a slab, fastening it down and classifying it as a structure,” he aid.

Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow backed a move to get the word out to the public, saying the council's message wasn't "thou shall not”.

Rather, she praised their use.

"As a community trying to encourage sustainable solutions, that's a great thing to be encouraging,” Cr Strelow said.

"This is why we care, even in a flash flood they act like a boat, they are a shed, they need to be tied down.”

Cr Smith added council did not want to discourage people buying or using them, but stressed they did require a building permit.

She said residents also had an obligation to their neighbours to ensure the area around containers was well maintained to reduce the threat of snakes and pests.

CLASS 10 BUILDING PERMIT

Building Act 1975

The Building Code of Australia defines a Class 10 building as a non habitable building being a private garage, carport, shed, carport or pergola or the like.

Documents required:

  • Building Form - 1 Application detail, 2 Building work requiring assessment against the Building Act 1975;
  • If builder is a registered builder, provide QBCC receipt if work value >$3,300;
  • If owner-builder project, obtain Owner Builder number if project value is greater than $11,100; and
  • PLSL receipt details if work value >$80,000.