Marooned in forgotten pocket
IT’S not just families way out west that are stranded due to flooding.
David Ross says there are about a dozen families in the Gympie region not able to get supplies because Munna Creek is in flood and Glen Echo Road is still well and truly impassable, despite Gympie Regional Council saying all the region’s roads were open as of yesterday.
Flooded in since last Sunday, Mr Ross is beginning to think they are living in the land that council forgot.
He knows he’s part of the Gympie Regional Council, he pays plenty of money in rates to them, but he wonders just what he’s getting for the privilege.
“We’ve been flooded in for nearly a week, and then we hear a report over the radio saying that all the roads in the Gympie Region are now open,” Mr Ross said. “So all the families in the area get dressed, pack the car and head into town to get supplies…”
Until they were stopped in their tracks by about 60 metres of brown, swiftly flowing Munna Creek, still raging and still metres over the road.
“They got all the way to Munna Creek to find that it’s still flooded!”
“I went home and rang the council’s number that you’re supposed to ring to find out about roads and the girl says, ‘yes, all the roads are open’.
“I said, well I happen to know that the Glen Echo Road is closed. ‘Oh’ she said and passed me onto the Works Department who then told me that I have to call the Kilkivan depot.
“So I ring the Kilkivan depot and I’m told someone will ring me back. I’m still waiting on a call from them.”
Mr Ross makes no bones about how he feels.
He says it’s a big region and, in his opinion, it is not being run competently.
“The rates have gone up... what services have we got here? No garbage service, no-one fills in our pot holes, no school bus and they don’t even know our roads are still flooded.”
He said “a flying fox” that residents put up at the Munna Creek crossing was taken down by Tiaro Shire Council (before amalgamation) and never put back across the creek, apparently due to public liability concerns.
He said for many years the flying fox was their link to supplies, mail and other necessities at times like this.
“In 1972, we didn’t see our bridge for six weeks. I missed nearly a month of school, but we managed to get supplies across because of that flying fox.”
As far as these residents are concerned they feel they are a forgotten pocket and the Gympie Regional Council has no interest in their welfare.
Mr Ross says they don’t have a clue what the region’s creeks and waterways are doing.
His main worry now is that there is more rain coming.
“The creek is slowly going down (at about 10cm an hour) but predicted storms may send it back up again,” he says.
Mr Ross said that one man had already risked life and limb to get across the swollen creek on a surfboard.
“I thought this region was supposed to be going forward, not backward.”