Strong opposition to Bundaberg East Flood Levee

Newly elected President of the Bundaberg Flood Protection Group, Sid McKeown, with the committee members. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

By Aaron Goodwin

In 2013 floods brought Bundaberg to its knees, with over 5000 Bundaberg residents were evacuated from their homes.

The newly formed “Bundaberg Flood Protection Group” has been created by concerned Bundaberg residents who want to see flood protection for those who are most at risk of future flooding.

The group says that despite millions of dollars being spent on feasibility studies and business cases – the Bundaberg residents most at risk of a future flood are as exposed today as they were in 2013.

Newly elected President of the Bundaberg Flood Protection Group – Sid McKeown, has started a petition calling on the Queensland State Government and the Bundaberg Regional Council to review and implement flood protection measures that will protect those most at risk of future flood events.

Prior to the October 2020 State election, the Queensland Government announced funding of $42 million towards the construction of the “East Bundaberg Flood Levee”.

This levee requires equal Federal Government funding.

“The East Bundaberg Levee poses significant construction risks” said Mr McKeown.

“The Rockhampton flood levee was budged at $80 million and ended up blowing out to over $180 million and growing.

“The East Bundaberg Flood levee also does very little for the residents of North Bundaberg and other low lying suburbs who were heavily impacted by the 2013 floods.

“We started a petition just prior to Easter and have already had 500 signatures and growing daily.

”People want real flood protection for Bundaberg not just an expensive levee that may never be built”.

Tom Marland, a local solicitor and resident of North Bundaberg, has also joined with the Bundaberg Flood Protection Group to advocate for a change to the current flood protection proposals.

“Flood protection should be about people, not profits. There should be a review to ensure that the best possible options are implemented to protect the most amount of people possible” said Mr Marland.

The Bundaberg Flood Protection Group will host its first public meeting 5.30pm, 19 April, at the Railway Hotel.