I'll listen to Rocky residents, not Bully front pages: Landry
CAPRICORNIA MP Michelle Landry won't "be swayed by front-page pressure”, but will make any decision on a South Rockhampton levee based on science and community support.
The political pressure is intensifying on Ms Landry, with a Labor senator accussing her of "holding out on a project that would protect hundreds of Rocky residents from devastating flooding”.
Murray Watt today said Ms Landry was left stranded as the only local politician not backing the proposed $60m South Rockhampton levee.
The Morning Bulletin, which today carried a front-page headline of $60m levee waits on Landry support, understands the federal MP will tomorrow meet with Council representatives who will attempt to address her questions relating to the science surrounding a levee and also the level of community support.
Yesterday, Rockhampton Region councillors unanimously voted to support a $10m Council contribution to the project.
Councillor Drew Wickerson has conducted his own survey. He said of the 1300 people he recently made contact with, "85% are in favour".
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also committed $25m from the state.
Following The Morning Bulletin's coverage today, Ms Landry took to Facebook.
"It is good to see that the South Rockhampton Flood Levee has finally been presented to the Council table,” she said.
"My position on this will not be swayed by front page pressure, but by science and community support.
"As previously stated and as per standard procedure, Council would usually request a meeting to present the proposal and funding requirement.
"There are still a number of concerns that need to be addressed before I, or the federal government, would be willing to commit.
"Ultimately if the community supports it and we know there is no risk, especially if we are in full flood and we get a significant rain event, then we will get behind it.”
She struck a cautious tone saying the region needed "to be very careful with this project”.
"Even the consultancy reports have a disclaimer waiving responsibility for the structural viability,” Ms Landry said.
"Unlike the riverbank redevelopment or other council infrastructure upgrades, if a levee goes ahead there is no room for a margin of error or the repercussions will be disastrous for Rockhampton.
"We have to make sure the science is absolutely right and we have to make sure that there aren't any cost blowouts that would lead to dangerous shortcuts.”
She said the airport levee needed to be part of the equation.
"The airport closure had a bigger impact on business in the region,” Ms Landry said.
"We have requested a meeting with council to discuss these concerns.
"Council will need to resolve these and present the case to us for funding, which we are yet to receive. Council is only proposing to fund around 16% which is less than would usually be expected.
"I have called for an independent survey that is managed by a third party.”
Mr Watt said every day Ms Landry dithered was "another day that shovels aren't in the ground on this vital project”.
"This is just another example of Ms Landry spending more time listening to Canberra than she does listening to Central Queensland,” Mr Watt said.
"We saw it with Shoalwater and we're seeing it again here.
"Michelle Landry is the Member for Capricornia, not the Member for Canberra.”