Landry: No airport levee, no South Rockhampton levee
CAPRICONIA MP Michelle Landry has made it clear that construction of a levee to protect Rockhampton Airport is a condition for her support of the South Rockhampton flood levee.
Ms Landry said federal funding for a levee to protect South Rockhampton would be considered once five conditions were met but she said "the airport levee must take priority and be included in any funding."
- A comprehensive community consultation that includes how Council contribution will be funded. Must survey 10% of population and a cross section of demographics.
- The Airport levee must take priority and be included in any funding.
- Written responses from negatively impacted landholders agreeing to the proposal.
- There must be a contribution from benefitted properties. Nobody expects them to cover all costs but to pay a contribution for the direct financial benefit.
- Written assurance that Council and/or the engineers take responsibility for the designs and any potential future issues arising from the design, construction and management.
"The feedback I'm getting is people are passionate about having something done with the airport and that is where the commerce of the city comes in," Ms Landry said.
"It is my duty as the representative of this region to listen to the people and make decisions based on that.
"We have not said we won't fund the levee, we are simply asking for due diligence."
Mayor Margaret Strelow said the council passed a resolution last month to seek funding for the design and feasibility study for the airport levee.
She said the council would do so when a suitable grant programme became available but she would also welcome an "out of round" grant.
"The South Rockhampton flood levee is shovel ready now," Cr Strelow said.
"By all means, let's do those airport investigations while work is underway South Rockhampton flood levee but let's not wait."
Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne spoke about the results from the first study carried out to assess a building levee at the airport
"The levee proposal for the airport involves very substantial displacement of water into some residences in Rockhampton," Mr Byrne said.
"From my recollections of reading the report many years ago, it would be a brave person indeed who went forward with a levee bank for the airport that moved a considerable amount of water into a large number of properties that were already impacted or had a level of impact."
"The diversion of the flow pushes water into parts of Rockhampton, because that's just the nature of water flow."
"Depot Hill is at the back end of the flow, so the displacement of water effect is dramatically less.
"To build a levee bank to protect the airport, at the scale you would need to develop it, is a massively different enterprise and a very considerable risk to the rest of Rockhampton and residential areas.
Ms Landry defended the length of time she had spent considering the merits of the SRFL project.
"Other flood mitigation projects have not been anywhere near the size or cost of the South Rockhampton flood levee and because it is much riskier, it requires much more scrutiny," Ms Landry said.
"We are also doing a survey of 3,600 people - we're hoping that will be completed by the end of June.
"It's got to be significant one way or the other.
"This is not something I want to jump into. I want to make sure the community moves forward with us on this.
"It's very important, it will change the whole structure of this city so I want what is best for the people of Rockhampton."
Last week, Ms Landry said she had spoken in depth with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about the levee bank.
Prime Minister Turnbull said he was counting on getting the right advice from Ms Landry before deciding.
"She's making sure she respects the people that she serves by consulting them and that's exactly what she ought to do," Mr Turnbull said.
"We would certainly participate in supporting the construction of the levee, but it is very important that it comes with strong community support."