The East Bundaberg Flood Levee will protect hundreds of homes, businesses and the CBD and cut insurance premiums for impacted residents.
Announced this month, the State and Federal Governments will fund the $174.7 million, 1.7 km concrete levee which will run parallel to the southern bank of the Burnett River.
The Bundaberg East Levee project will not only help safeguard homes, businesses and the local economy from the devastation of major flooding, it will also create local jobs and business opportunities during its construction.
The project’s concept design – developed with community consultation in 2018 – will mitigate future flood damage within the Bundaberg East, Bundaberg South and Bundaberg CBD precincts.
Council levee advocacy
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey welcomed the announcement which he said would bring peace of mind to many residents.
“The East Bundaberg flood levee was identified as Council’s number one disaster mitigation priority and we thank the State and Federal Governments for this major funding commitment, which is something we have been advocating for,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The levee will protect hundreds of homes, major industries and the CBD without increasing flood impacts in other areas.
“It is a great boost for our community and the many residents who remember all too well the devastation which occurred in the 2010-11 and 2013 flood events.
“The benefits of this project will be felt right throughout the region.”
While Mayor Dempsey said the Bundaberg East Flood Levee would be without doubt the most significant flood mitigation investment in the region to date, a number of other projects had been delivered since 2013.
Those included the early warning network upgrades, a flood levee off Cummins Street next to the technology park and flood evacuation routes in Givelda and on Bartholdt Drive and Mt Perry and Fairymead Roads.
“While the East Bundaberg Flood Levee was certainly priority number one, it is by no means the only priority project for our region,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“To see this major project moving forward is a great achievement for our region by the State and Federal Governments but Council will be continuing to advocate for the delivery of the remaining identified flood mitigation infrastructure for our region, including the Bundaberg North flood evacuation route.”
Reduced insurance premiums following levee advocacy
The construction of the levee could drive insurance premiums down for impacted locals with Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston welcoming the funding for the Bundaberg East Flood Levee which he said would green light one of Queensland’s most critical flood resilience projects.
“We’ve been calling on governments to build the Bundaberg Flood Levee project for a long time and it’s great to see the funding for the project is now on the table and work can start to make it a reality,” Mr Johnston said.
“The levee will not only protect homes, businesses and livelihoods in Bundaberg south of the Burnett River, it will also put downward pressure on insurance premiums.
“The levee could save affected locals on average more than $1000 a year on their home insurance premium.
“I thank all three levels of government for working together to get the Bundaberg Flood Levee project built for the people of Bundaberg.”
CRG thanked for important role
Mayor Dempsey said the delivery of the Bundaberg East Flood Levee was a win for the local members of Council’s original Community Reference Group (CRG).
The CRG was a key driver in ensuring that identifying flood mitigation priorities for the region was a process which involved much community input.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents who formed the CRG which worked closely with Council immediately following the 2013 flood event to identify flood mitigation priorities for our region.
“This dedicated group of volunteers, some of whom were personally impacted by the flood events, spent countless hours working alongside Council to take a list of about 200 recommendations down to the identified priority projects.
“This report was then provided to the State Government as the lead agency for the delivery of flood mitigation infrastructure.”
Read more about CRG member's levee advocacy here.