News

Buy-back for Ipswich homes hit by floods?

IPSWICH homes under continued threat of flooding could be bought back and turned into parkland if an Ipswich City Council proposal gets backing from state and federal governments.

The council resolved at this week's council meeting to write approaches to the Newman and Gillard governments in a proactive move to prevent flood damage in years to come.

The plan has the backing of Blair MP Shayne Neumann and Local Government Minister David Crisafulli.

The council has identified 30 reclaimable homes from detailed flood maps used to warn Ipswich residents facing flooding during the Australia Day floods last month.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said those maps gave council the opportunity to spare flood victims further despair.

"We can now identify certain problem areas that are so flood-prone to those areas that we have to get them to higher ground," he said.

"It will show us properties that will be affected without the use of Wivenhoe Dam, low-lying areas that are just a disaster waiting to happen, and that can be turned into parkland or drainage."

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said all levels of government should spend more time on flood prevention rather than management.

"I believe there should be a COAG approach, involving local, state and federal governments," he said.

"I agree with the council that what we need to do is look at flood-mitigation town planning and looking at reclamation of land.

"We need a whole-of-government approach on this and we need to look at how roads and railway lines are built."

Mr Neumann said the 2011 floods left the country with a $5.6 billion damage bill.

Mr Crisafulli said the State Government had a rare opportunity to work with councils to protect communities in future.

"There will be some cases where councils may look at relocating some parts of town and we've seen examples of that in the past," he said.

"Councils may also choose to relocate homes and businesses to higher ground and we'll support them in that too.

"It's a huge challenge and something I want to see driven by the council and the community.

"Yes it does involve money, but it also involves political goodwill."

Topics:  ipswich city council, oswald




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