COUNCIL POSITION ON ‘BUY-OUTS’

In January 2013 the highest recorded flood event in the settled history of Bundaberg occurred, with over 4,000 properties across the Region flooded, including over 2,000 properties with waters over the floorboards.  Numerous properties were also affected by tornados in the days prior to the flood.

Since the flood event, Council has obtained, and will continue to obtain, extensive expert engineering advice to explore ways to assist recovery and to provide greater resilience against future events.

The estimated cost to “buy–out” the affected properties would be in the hundreds of Millions of Dollars  –  money which Council does not have and which would in turn create a severe impost on Council and all its 45,000 Ratepayers for many years to come.

Taking into consideration the number of flood and storm affected properties, and in the interests of providing certainty for Residents following these devastating events  –  the Council has today announced that it does not have the financial resources to “buy–out” affected properties.

Council is aware that many affected Residents are in discussions with their Insurance Companies and this decision not to “buy–out” impacted properties will allow these Residents to move forward to reach an outcome which best meets their individual circumstances.

Council will continue to work pro–actively with both the State and Federal Governments to secure funding to facilitate options for flood mitigation and building resilience measures such as raising of homes;  however these options will be dependant on Council receiving funding from other levels of Government.

Council’s current focus is on restoring the essential community services, with the priority on rebuilding infrastructure such as sewerage, water, roads, drainage, parks and community facilities.

Council is continuing on a daily basis to work through the myriad of issues which have arisen as a result of the flood event, and will provide further updates as information becomes available.

Date: 01-03-2013

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