Somerset Regional Council is still pulling large items of debris from the Brisbane River more than a year after the flood.
Somerset Regional Council is still pulling large items of debris from the Brisbane River more than a year after the flood. Contributed

Still picking up the pieces

MORE than a year after the flood, debris as large as cars and pieces of furniture is still being pulled out of the Brisbane River.

The Somerset Regional Council has recommenced debris clearing from the mid-Brisbane River following four months of delay due to wet weather and water releases from Somerset and Wivenhoe dams.

According to the Somerset council, clearance of the remaining debris will also resume along several parts of the Lockyer Creek in coming weeks.

The council has already pulled cars and fridges from waterways north of Ipswich.

Somerset council natural resource management officer Trevor Page said the slow progress in removing debris had been testing.

"It's been a frustrating summer, having the money and resources secured to undertake this clean-up,but being continually hampered by regular heavy summer rainfall," he said.

However, Mr Page said recent dry weather had allowed the clean-up to restart.

In the Brisbane River council contractors have been using shallow draft boats to collect smaller debris including furniture and fridges, while calling in heavy machinery to remove larger items such as car bodies.

The council said it sent out letters to affected residents seeking approval to remove remaining debris from the waterways before Christmas last year.

But a council spokesperson said while contracts with the landholders were entered into soon after, they could not begin removing debris until rain and water releases from the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams stopped.

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council recently employed a helicopter to do an aerial survey of the region's creeks and rivers to pinpoint remaining debris.

The GPS co-ordinates of rubbish, including cars and large water tanks, were recorded and mapped in order for the council to develop a plan for its removal.

The Lockyer council had previously stated cleaning up the waterways had been made difficult due to the number of flooded creeks in the region on private property.

Funding for the clean-up has been provided to the councils by the State Government.

The Somerset council said it remains in talks with the Lockyer council, SEQ Catchments and the State Government on the best use of additional flood recovery funds.



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