Call to relocate North Bundaberg to prevent more flooding

STRONG TIDE: Burnett River traffic bridge holds tight against the raging waters of the 2013 flood. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail
STRONG TIDE: Burnett River traffic bridge holds tight against the raging waters of the 2013 flood. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail Ben Turnbull

A LEADING property consultancy company behind the relocation of a Lockyer Valley town following the 2011 floods says Bundaberg Regional Council should consider relocating North Bundaberg.

Urbis regional director Peter Hyland said it was important Bundaberg took on a strategic approach which considered the social, economical and engineering issues.

"Relocation is an option to be considered, particularly for areas that are prone to significant future flooding events," he said.

"There are a lot of factors to consider to ensure that the people of Bundaberg have a long-term solution to flood mitigation and the social, physical and economic impacts should be the priorities."

Mr Hyland said after the 2011 floods Urbis worked alongside the Lockyer Valley Council for the "Australian-first" land-swap for the town of Grantham.

"There was no manual on it and it was the most effective solution for the flood-ravaged town of Grantham," he said.

Mr Hyland said the relocation worked because of the cooperative efforts of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, the State Government and local community but stressed that no two regions were the same and Bundaberg's long-term solution could lie elsewhere.

"I don't think there is one solution, but a combination of ideas that will work," he said.

"It will then be a combination of mitigation measures, potentially relocation and community awareness and education."

Mr Hyland said any decision made would require strong leadership from local government to learn from past events to reduce the impacts of any future floods.

At the same time Mr Hyland said every attempt should be made to retain what made Bundaberg unique.

"Bundaberg has a high level of heritage significance which should be considered in any replanning."

Mr Hyland said he was impressed with the way local government had handled the situation so far by prioritising the immediate needs of the community.

A Bundaberg Regional Council spokesman said it would be difficult to make comment at this stage regarding what may be proposed for the future but welcomed help from experienced parties.

"I'm sure Ubris have significant experience and council may be interested in participating in a discussion with them one on one should they seek to meet with council," he said.

Urbis advice

If you rebuild in the area houses need to be built with higher flood resilience

Possible mitigation with levees or flood channels

Relocation should be considered for areas where you can't get enough flood resilience

Community needs to be kept informed at all stages

Topics:  bundaberg flooding floods 2013 north bundaberg oswald

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