Neil Dignam has lost some of his property to an eroded gully at Karalee.
Neil Dignam has lost some of his property to an eroded gully at Karalee.

Dangerous gully swallows up land and threatens properties

A KARALEE resident claims an incorrectly installed storm water drain has created a dangerous gully that is eating away at his property, swallowing trees and fences.

It's a problem Neil Dignam has been trying to rectify since 2011.

The storm water drain on Carlock Prominade is located approximately 130 metres from the banks of the Brisbane River, forcing water to run overland before making its way to the river.

"We've now got an eroded gully that you could probably park about 8 B-doubles in this eroded area. It's absolutely massive and very, very dangerous," Mr Dignam said.

Mr Dignam said it's not only causing silt pollution in the river, it's a major safety hazard.

The erosion has grown bigger over the years and there is now an estimated 5 metre vertical drop that is difficult to see and too dangerous to access.

 

Neil Digman measuring the depth of a dangerous gully next to his property. It's about a 5 metre vertical drop.
Neil Digman measuring the depth of a dangerous gully next to his property. It's about a 5 metre vertical drop.

It has eaten away at Mr Dignam's property so much that he won't allow his own children to play in their backyard.

He has fears about how the land movement is impacting surrounding infrastructure.

"One of the other issues is, this erosion is actually working its way toward these very large electrical pylons. They're huge, I think you need a helicopter to access the top of these things," he said.

 

Large electrical pylons are located just metres from the eroded gully.
Large electrical pylons are located just metres from the eroded gully.

He said the erosion and running silt has created a small beach at the end of the gully.

"If you walk the eroded gully from that beach, there's 4-5 metres of vertical walls of sand on either side of you. I've seen kids' footprints down there before," he said.

"If a child goes up and one of these embankments collapses, you'd never find them, they would just disappear.

"It's so big, we've had fairly mature ghost ash gum trees, we've actually had those fall into it."

 

Erosion has formed a dangerous gully on properties on the banks of the Brisbane River.
Erosion has formed a dangerous gully on properties on the banks of the Brisbane River.

Mr Dignam said he felt helpless and has reached out to council for help on several occasions.

"I've been asking council to repair this since 2011, when it was nowhere near as bad as it is now. It was actually a lot closer to the river, a lot easier to repair," he said.

Mr Dignam said council's own Hydraulics expert contractor already reported the need for a pipe all the way to the river, which included calculations

The QT has seen recommendations from a senior water engineer, who recommends "extending the drainage pipe by 200m over the current surface and backfilling".

Despite those recommendations, Ipswich City Council maintains it is not an infrastructure issue.

 

The council storm water drain located roughly 130 metres from the banks of the river.
The council storm water drain located roughly 130 metres from the banks of the river.

Council said it engaged engineering consultants to investigate damage to council infrastructure as a result of the January 2011 flood event.

A council spokesperson said the erosion was from flooding not from council infrastructure.

"Council inspections at the time indicated that erosion caused at the rear of the property was mainly due to the flow of the Bremer River during the flood, and not council infrastructure. This was confirmed by the consultants," they said.

"At the time, funding was available from the Queensland Recovery Authority, however the consultants said that this site was not eligible for funding.

"Council could not take the matter any further."

 

A dangerous drop in an eroded gully at Karalee.
A dangerous drop in an eroded gully at Karalee.

Residents in Karana Downs have been fighting a similar battle.

Residents blamed stormwater retention works at nearby Murray Park, despite Brisbane City Council previously insisting the damage was due to the 2011 floods.

But a solution is now on the horizon for those residents after incoming Pullenvale ward councillor, Greg Adermann, secured more than $2.6 million in last week's Budget for engineering works.



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