Our new flood victims are left high and dry
FLOOD victims without a flood, residents of a small and quite elevated neighbourhood in Noosa and East Deep Creek Rds are outraged.
They are among hundreds of Gympie home owners whose properties have been devalued by exaggerated official flood height estimates.
Many are not even aware that their homes and investment properties are affected by the official one-in-100-year flood inundation area, an engineering fiction which has now become law in Gympie.
As weather records have not been kept in Australia for nearly long enough to know what an average once-a-century flood would amount to, the level is both arbitrary and almost certainly inaccurate.
Graham Carmichael has had to raise his land (and the floor heights of four houses he is building in East Deep Creek Rd) by about 700mm to keep them clear of the blue line which now appears on the Gympie Regional Council property maps. It is a height which these residents say was not reached by any flood in the past 100 years.
And none before that either, according to Mr Carmichael's Noosa Rd neighbour Gladys Everett.
Claiming the authority of a retired bank manager who remembered the massive 1893 flood - probably the biggest and most widespread flood event in south-east Queensland history - she says her land has never flooded.
GRAHAM Carmichael looks out over the sports fields and undeveloped paddocks which are the good side of Gympie's flood prone history.
He holds a map with a blue line supposedly marking where the water reaches in an average once-a-century flood event.
Land which has looked out over the top of every flood for at least 150 years has now been declared to be prone to flooding once in a century on average.
"We've been here 43 years," Gladys Everett said. She says her former neighbour, a retired bank manager she remembers as Mr James, was young in 1893 and remembered what is generally regarded as south-east Queensland's biggest flood.
"He told us our properties were dry," she said.
Denise Long, next door, says in her 45 years in Noosa Rd, flood waters have only ever come up to a power pole some 5m lower than her place.
And they say they are not the only victims of Gympie's new flood mapping system.
Mayor Ron Dyne and MP David Gibson had tended to blame each other, but yesterday it appeared that Mr Gibson had begun talking to Cr Dyne to develop a joint approach to the State Government.