North Rocky gets help to prepare for the next flood event
KALKA Palms Hotel owner Maxwell Brown is breathing easier today knowing that his business won't be crippled by the next Fitzroy River flood.
For 29 years he's enjoyed running the family owned pub on Lakes Creek Road with his daughters Shelby and Maxine but there's been a downside.
With each major river flooding event over the years, the surrounding roads are inundated and Lakes Creek Rd gets blocked off to traffic, costing him tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
The reason for the inconvenient roadblock was Fitzroy River floodwater getting into Berserker's sewerage network, requiring the use of dedicated pumps and hoses running across Lakes Creek Rd to remove the combination of floodwater and sewage.
Over the past decade flood mitigation works have been rolled out by Rockhampton Regional Council in the North Rockhampton Flood Management Area, allowing the protection of almost 500 homes.
Seeking to support Rockhampton's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic the Queensland Government announced a $872,000 contribution for the next flood mitigation stage.
The North Rockhampton Flood Backflow Prevention project will install seven dedicated access chambers with pumps and isolation valves on the trunk sewer mains on Lakes Creek Rd.
The dedicated access chambers will reduce the risk of flood backflow into the North Rockhampton Sewerage Scheme and provide increased pumping capacity to pump sewage and floodwater into an appropriate outlet.
The NRFMA will also benefit from reduced inundation, improving the operational response during floods and major rain events.
The total cost of the project was $1.83 million with RRC contributing $961,000.
Mr Brown applauded the work of RRC, particularly Councillor Tony Williams, to floodproof the area but maintained a degree of scepticism.
"You can get the water out but if it can't get into the river because it's too high, where's the water going to go? It's only going to back up isn't it? So I don't know whether it will work until we get the next flood," Mr Brown said.
Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said he was keen to see council get moving on the project to support jobs and provide peace-of-mind for affected residents.
"I am looking forward to seeing work get underway as soon as practical to make the sewer in the North Rockhampton Flood Management Area more resilient during flood events," Mr O'Rourke said.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said the Building our Regions program would invest in the sustainability of Yeppoon's Sewage Treatment plant with a $190,000 contribution to add solar and a battery.
"We know the council's upgrade has increased the plant's capacity by half, but that's also had an impact on electricity costs" Ms Lauga said.
"The Palaszczuk Government is delivering solar panels and battery storage to the treatment plant to help drive down energy consumption and support local jobs.
Yeppoon's Sewage Treatment Plant will be the first in Central Queensland to use renewable energy in a significant way to reduce running costs and its impact on the environment.
"And, there's a further $300,000 to help the shire prepare a business case for dredging Causeway Lake," she said.
"It's the next step in a major project to expand recreational activities at Causeway Lake for both residents and the visitors that will be crucial to the reboot of tourism to the shire.
"We want to see these projects underway as soon as possible to boost jobs and business confidence."
Minister for State Development Kate Jones said across Queensland the Building our Region's program would invest $365 million to support 350 new jobs, in addition to the continuation of the $200 million Works for Queensland.
"Every one of these projects will make a marked difference in the long-term for the communities we're building in," Ms Jones said.
"Whether it's improving water supply and internet connectivity or expanding tourism opportunities, the positive impacts will be felt for generations, long after construction has completed.
"In addition to the direct jobs created, BoR also lifts employment indirectly, helping small businesses in these communities and boosting industry supply chains.
"The threat of COVID-19 can't stop Queensland moving forward. After some dark days we're getting on with building a brighter tomorrow for our state."
For more information visit the Building our Regions web page: www.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/regions/economic-development/building-our-regions.html