PM Malcolm Turnbull with Michelle Landry MP
PM Malcolm Turnbull with Michelle Landry MP Contributed

LEVEE TALK: Why Capricornia MP is in no rush

THE shovel-ready South Rockhampton Flood Levee (SRFL) could be years away from funding, but Capricornia MP Michelle Landry is happy to wait.

While Labor say Ms Landry should have Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a headlock to get $25 million for the flood mitigation project, a Rockhampton Airport levee remains her priority.

This comes despite the Rockhampton Regional Council's prediction a detailed design could take one year to complete, with about $500,000 in joint funding needed from the State and Federal Governments.

How long with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry playing the levee waiting game?
How long with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry playing the levee waiting game?

When questioned if she was comfortable with this lengthy wait, Ms Landry said she believed any works needed to be considered in the bigger picture and factor in the proposed ring road.

"We don't have a flood every year, so I think the airport levee is very important and has to be done properly," she said.

"We don't want it to be rushed, we want to take into consideration ... where it would be best placed.

"There's talk down the track of putting a ring road around the airport, I think that needs to be taken into consideration, that could act as part of the levee for the airport."

 

Rockhampton Airport carpark.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin            ROK100111flood-a7
A Rockhampton Airport levee and South Rockhampton Flood Levee could both be years away. Pictured is the Rockhampton Airport car park during floods in 2011. Allan Reinikka

Though if recent history is anything to go by, another flood in the timeframe for either levee to be completed is not out of the question as the LNP remains the only tier of government yet to stamp a firm position for or against the $60 million SRFL.

Both the council and State Government have made their unequivocal support for a levee in the south clear, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten this week guaranteed $25 million under a Labor Government.

On Wednesday, Ms Landry launched an offensive on Mr Shorten's commitment via Facebook, and yesterday claimed he "doesn't know anything about flood proofing the airport".

She stands by her demands for proof of more community support for a SRFL, expressing doubts over how the council and CQUniversity framed their survey questions which yielded a majority in favour.

She claims she is trying to get a copy of the council's and university's surveys.

The Capricornia Chamber of Commerce president Peter Fraser said the project would stop the region's economy lurching from one disaster to another, and councillor Drew Wickerson claims his own survey of 1300 people yielded an 85%-in-favour result.

Ms Landry believes the mounting push for an SRFL came "all of a sudden" following the recent flood, but said she would discuss the divisive issue with her Parliamentary colleagues next week.

When asked bluntly if she believes an SRFL was a "good idea", Ms Landry said the project "has its merits".

"If it protects houses and protects the Bruce Hwy I think that is really good," she said.

"Also, major businesses have been affected by this, but my major concern is the safety of the people.

"I don't want people being totally reliant on this if something happens."