COUNCIL WORKS TOWARDS NEW FLOOD HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS

Flood affected residents will soon have answers and directives from Bundaberg Regional Council regarding progressing repairs or rebuilding in flood prone areas influenced by the Burnett River.

Council Planning & Development portfolio spokesperson, Cr. Ross Sommerfeld said Council staff is currently engaged in formulating a Temporary Local Planning Instrument which would provide among other things a minimum habitable floor level for residential development..

Cr. Sommerfeld said the TLPI would be in place for a maximum period of 12 months and would provide guidelines for people wishing to repair or rebuild their flood affected residences.

He said the new guidelines would relate only to properties affected by the flooding of the Burnett River. “Currently we do not have data to extend our investigations beyond the Burnett,” he said.

“Council will not make the TLPI retrospective in that if someone wished to repair their existing home there would be no compulsion to build to the new standard.”

“However, if someone is building a new home then that could trigger an application under the TLPI.”

The precise date for implementing the new TLPI is unknown due to required flood information data still being collated. “Additionally, when Council has the draft document ready for adoption it will need to be approved by the State Government.”

Cr. Sommerfeld said that while data had been recorded from gauge stations and data loggers situated across the Burnett catchment it was a time consuming process in converting that information into a calibrated Flood Model for the event that has just occurred.

“The task has been made significantly harder due to the deliberate destruction of a data logger located at Moore Park.”

Cr. Sommerfeld said the data logger was critical to model calibration and understanding the relationship of flood water flows between Bundaberg and Moore Park.

 “Someone deliberately attacked the monitor with bolt cutters through the peak of the event although information generated until the incident at 3.45pm on Tuesday January 29, was retrieved. Information after that time has been lost but would have been extremely beneficial,” he said.

Cr. Sommerfeld said geotechnical information was also being collated regarding the cause of the severe scouring that happened on some pavement surfaces and around some houses over North Bundaberg.

“It’s important we know the reasons why certain areas were more prone to scouring than others,” he said.

Council has engaged two local consulting firms to assist with gathering required data.

“Council is very mindful that members of the community are awaiting information relating to the TLPI and I wish to assure them that it will be formulated in the most timely manner possible,” said Cr. Sommerfeld

Date: 25-02-2013

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