Allan Charteris is heading up the flood mitigation study commissioned by Gympie Regional Council.
Allan Charteris is heading up the flood mitigation study commissioned by Gympie Regional Council. Craig Warhurst

All options on the table to try to reduce impact of floods

NOTHING will be off the table when global company Aurecon does its flood mitigation study of the Gympie region over the next two months.

Levees around the CBD, a buyback of flood affected properties, blowing up the bottleneck at Fisherman's Pocket, flood bypasses, new dams or water retention basins on the Mary River and its tributaries are just a few of the options to be explored by Allan Charteris and his team to try to reduce the impact of flooding in our region.

Mr Charteris is the project manager for the $150,000 study, commissioned by the Gympie Regional Council to provide a cost benefit analysis of all flood mitigation options.

He spoke to a crowd of about 70 people at the Chamber of the Commerce flood meeting held at the Gympie Civic Centre on Monday night.

The main reason for the meeting was to review the region's response to the last flood and suggest improvements to the flood plan, but Mr Charteris quickly became the star of the show, fielding many questions about how the study would proceed.

He said his company had an 8-10 week timeline to finish the report.

In that time the team would identify flood risks, talk to businesses to gather information on the cost of flooding and work out the construction and ongoing costs of each flood mitigation option.

Then they would compile a report to present to council identifying the best and most cost effective options.

Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne said getting the report done was very important for the community. It would be the first time a comprehensive flood mitigation study was done and would give the council something concrete to give to State and Federal Governments when applying for funding.

Gympie missed out on Federal funding in the last major flood when other areas received large amounts of money - Ipswich received $10 million.

Cr Dyne said he was angry when Gympie didn't receive funding and spoke to Senator Joe Ludwig, Federal Minister Assisting on Queensland Flood Recovery, about why Gympie was overlooked.

"It was because we had nothing in writing," Cr Dyne said.

Gympie Times


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