State backs flood probe for Gympie
THE Queensland Government will spend "whatever it takes" to help Gympie Regional Council carry out a formal flood-reduction study, Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said yesterday.
And Prime Minister Julia Gillard told media in Ipswich she was keen to receive a submission from Gympie Regional Council on its flood-recovery and mitigation needs.
Mr Crisafulli met Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne and MP David Gibson at CBD flood central, at Reef and Monkland Sts, the Gympie CBD's lowest and most flood-prone sector.
All three agreed that Gympie needed a serious examination of flood-mitigation suggestions, including levees, drainage improvements, detention basins and other suggestions.
"I don't think even the biggest optimist in the world would say you can ever flood-proof Gympie," Mr Crisafulli told media as he visited some of the city's worst hit businesses.
"There are few communities in Australia that cope as well as Gympie, but I think Gympie people would rather be famous for something else."
Mr Crisafulli said his government had already committed $40,000 towards a council-driven study of mitigation alternatives, with a total cost for the investigation now estimated at $100,000.
"The council's got to drive it," he said.
"Our whole mantra is the community has to decide, instead of the State Government imposing something on people.
"The council can use its engineers to assess various proposals in a jointly funded study to see which ideas are cost-effective.
"We're going to be here from the beginning to the end of the process."
Asked how much the government was prepared to spend to get the real answers for worried Gympie residents, property owners and businesspeople, Mr Crisafulli said: "Whatever it takes".
"This is not just the right thing to do financially, it's the right thing for people as well.
"Let's do what was put in the too-hard baslket 30 years ago," he said.