FEELING DRAINED: Woolooga's Barry Hawke has been locked into a fight with Gympie council for years.
FEELING DRAINED: Woolooga's Barry Hawke has been locked into a fight with Gympie council for years. Renee Albrecht

Council erosion fight wears on

THE battle between Woolooga property owner Barry Hawke and the Gympie Regional Council has stretched on for years.

Centred around the placement of new drainage culvert between the Woolooga Community Hall and the adjacent property Mr Hawke owns, the land at the back of the property has experienced significant erosion and flood damage over the years.

"We've had to do a number of repairs to not only the property but the land itself,” Mr Hawke said.

"That's where a lot of the problems between myself and council have started.”

According to him, the new drain installation, which runs between the hall and the store, has had an influx of stormwater rush to the back of the property.

The drainpipe's exit point means this water is essentially being forced to travel upstream.

"That's what's causing the issue on the land,” Mr Hawke added, now attempting to get council to admit culpability for the erosion.

It's a stance at least partially supported by an independent hydrology report commissioned into examining the cause of the erosion during flood events.

In the introduction to the findings, AquaIntel's Steve Chamberlain said that while they couldn't provide a definitive yes or no answer, much of the evidence spoke for itself.

"The work we undertook for the flood study concludes that there was an adverse impact on your property as a result of the works undertaken at by council at the hall,” Mr Chamberlain said.

Mr Hawke said the findings of the report means he won't be backing down, seeking compensation and definitive end to the years-long saga.

"I won't roll over on this,” he said.

"It's been going on too long and I need to see this through - to drag this out for years has been absolutely ridiculous.”

"Council is aware of Mr Hawke's complaints,” a council spokeswoman told the Gympie Times yesterday.

"There are a number of complex issues surrounding State Government legislation.”

However, they were unable to provide further comment on the findings of the report at this time.

"We will be responding to Mr Hawke once the matters have been investigated.”

Gympie Times


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