Insurer Suncorp has welcomed Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk's commitment of $42.5 million towards the Bundaberg East Flood Levee and says it will likely lead to lower premiums.
Suncorp's executive manager for public policy Joshua Cooney told ABC Wide Bay that bipartisan support from both State parties and the Federal Government was needed to deliver the $80 million project.
“The devastating effects of Cyclone Oswald are still etched clearly in a lot of people's memories,” Mr Cooney said.
“Millions of dollars of repair bills were ultimately paid and there was a lot of heartbreak as well.
“If we can avoid that through good effective mitigation such as this Bundaberg East Flood Levee then it's a worthwhile investment.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed Suncorp’s confirmation that insurance premiums will reduce if the levee is built.
“Flood mitigation measures are needed to boost investor confidence, give people peace of mind and keep the community safe,” he said.
“We don’t want a repeat of what happened in 2013.
“The State Government has undertaken extensive consultation and received expert advice from world-class engineers in deciding on the best options, including the Bundaberg East levee.”
Experts say the levee would protect houses, businesses and community assets such as the Bundaberg East State School and Meals on Wheels.
In September, Bundaberg Regional Council identified implementation of the 10-year Flood Action Plan as one of its State Election advocacy priorities.
Mr Cooney commended Council on its leadership.
“We don't just welcome the Queensland Government's funding commitment,” he said.
“We have to give full credit to the local council and Mayor Jack Dempsey.
“This is a great example of the local community taking control of its risk management and presenting a compelling case that different levels of government come to the party and fund a very important project for Bundaberg.”
Mr Cooney said disaster mitigation was the smartest investment governments can make.
“Typically, these large projects are funded through multiple levels of government and of course we would encourage the Federal Government and the local Federal Member to get behind this project,” he said.
“It's a much-needed project for Bundaberg and if you look at the basic fundamental principles of government it is all about protecting its citizens.
“What better way to protect the citizens of Bundaberg than putting in a levee that will that avoid a lot of heartbreak.
“We don't really mind how the levee is built or who builds it.
“We think it's a project that stacks up, will greatly reduce the flood risk in Bundaberg and we want it to be a bipartisan project that is ultimately supported by both sides of politics.