Anna Bligh.
Anna Bligh.

Bligh stops gossip on buy-outs

PREMIER Anna Bligh yesterday moved to put to bed one of the most enduring myths arising from the flood crisis.

Ms Bligh said soon after the floods, rumours surfaced that the State Government or councils would buy flooded homes.

Yesterday the Premier told the Queensland Times those rumours were just that.

“Claims that people with flood-damaged properties will have to sell to the State Government are unfounded,” Ms Bligh said.

“I understand there will always be confusion along with rumours after such a devastating event as people try to recover and rebuild and get on with their lives, and that’s one of the reasons why we have established a Commission of Inquiry.”

She said the commission would investigate all aspects of the devastating floods in south-east Queensland as well as other areas of the state.

“It’s anticipated that part of this inquiry will be to look at flood resistance in areas like Ipswich and Goodna,” she said.

“The commission is due to deliver an interim report by August with a final report due in January 2012.”

In the weeks after the floods hit, Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman was quoted as saying a program for buying back flood-prone homes could be part of the inquiry into the flood disaster.

Last week, Ipswich Councillor Heather Morrow, whose division covers low-lying suburbs such as Karalee and Barellan Point, said residents had been asking her if the council would buy them out.

Karalee was one of the worst-hit suburbs during the devastating floods along with Goodna, East Ipswich, Brassall, Basin Pocket, Moores Pocket, North Booval, North Ipswich and the CBD.

“People are saying they can’t rebuild if they were flooded and the council is going to buy their property,” Cr Morrow said.

She said there would be about a 50-50 split in terms of people in flood-affected areas wanting to rebuild and those who wanted the council to buy them out.

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