Troy Beahan of the Ipswich Knights inspects the state of the creek behind the club’s football ground. Rubbish and debris deposited in the Bundamba creek during the January floods has not be removed.
Troy Beahan of the Ipswich Knights inspects the state of the creek behind the club’s football ground. Rubbish and debris deposited in the Bundamba creek during the January floods has not be removed. Claudia Baxter

Clean up the creek

CALLS for a clean-up of the Bundamba Creek ahead of what could be another heavy wet season appear to have been falling on deaf ears.

Flooded three times since the end of 2008 - including the January event which severely damaged Ross Lleyellyn Motors, the Ipswich Basketball Stadium and Bunnings Warehouse - Ipswich Knights Soccer Club has repeatedly requested the removal of debris.

Several relics of the January flood - including wheels and tyres, shopping trolleys, bins and storage pallets - remain scattered along the banks.

An even bigger concern to the club, and other businesses positioned close to that section of the creek, is the proliferation of weeds along the banks which threaten to slow the flow if and when significant rainfall does arrive this summer.

A large, fallen gum tree almost completely blocks a section of the creek at Booval and has caused a pile-up of debris.

Ipswich Knights president Troy Beahan said he believed anything that helped increase the flow of water could reduce the effect of flooding.

"Our fences were knocked down twice and we had severe damage to our clubhouse from of the 2008 and 2009 floods," Mr Beahan said.

"The cost of cleaning out the creek could be worthwhile if it means preventing more flooding."

Although its losses during the January flood have already been well documented, Ross Llewellyn Motors also lost about 60 vehicles as a result of lesser flooding in late 2008 and early 2009.

General manager James Sturges said on those occasions, water rose so quickly from Bundamba Creek that there wasn't enough time to move vulnerable cars - mostly new vehicles - to higher ground.

Subsequently, the company's flood insurance premiums have increased to an almost crippling level in the last 12 months.

"At the moment we're working on a complete disaster recovery plan because we don't think we are safe from this happening again," Mr Sturges said.

"We lost $2 million in equipment in the last flood so we've got to plan a way to get that stuff out quick.

"We would support any flood mitigation work on the Bundamba Creek - I'm sure anything at all to improve the flow of water would help."

Despite the calls for assistance, it seems both council and State Government are reluctant to claim responsibility for the state of the creek.

Local area Councillor Trevor Nardi said working out ownership of issues relating to local rivers and creeks could be a confusing process.

Having looked at the blockages in Bundamba Creek, Cr Nardi said he did not believe they were bad enough to contribute to a 2008 or 2009- type flood.

Since the 2011 floods were understood to have been caused by water backing up from the Bremer River, it was deemed that any changes to the creek would not have reduced their severity.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management also fended off questions about the Bundamba Creek to a statutory local body called Ipswich River Improvement Trust.

The IRIT has been made aware of the issue and will inspect the creek today.



How Ipswich residents made $5.2 million in a year

premium_icon How Ipswich residents made $5.2 million in a year

Here’s where you can cash in across the wider region.

How the most improved NAPLAN school in Ipswich did it

premium_icon How the most improved NAPLAN school in Ipswich did it

'There has been significant change'.

New administrator keeps quiet about intentions for role

premium_icon New administrator keeps quiet about intentions for role

The man that is destined to take current Ipswich City Council interim administrator...