Image of where the once-proposed (but since dumped) Mary River flood levee would be built. This letter writer wants to know definitively where each of the 8 Gympie councillors stands on the issue.
Image of where the once-proposed (but since dumped) Mary River flood levee would be built. This letter writer wants to know definitively where each of the 8 Gympie councillors stands on the issue. Craig Warhurst

LETTER: Where do Gympie councillors stand on flood levee?

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Where do councillors stand on flood levee?

THE easiest way not to get wet when it's raining is to stay out of the rain.

The best way to avoid flooding is not to own property in a swamp, not to try to fight nature by building a flood levee, as come up again this week when the question was asked of what to do "to save Gympie's CBD”.

I'm all for flood levees in places where there's no high ground to go to, places out west, Roma, Charleville etc. But when a town has its highest ground sitting largely wasted, when that ground is owned by the state, and when the suggested levee won't protect against what's known to be past flood levels (1893) the entire concept is dubious, at best.

The last time the levee was mentioned Gympie Mayor Mick Curran said he wouldn't rule it out, if there was a change of state government which would fund it.

Gympie Council 2018 Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald.
Gympie councillors Hilary Smerdon, Dan Stewart, Glen Hartwig, Bob Leitch, Mayor Mick Curran, Bob Fredman, Mal Gear, Daryl Dodt and Mark McDonald. Renee Albrecht

The comment in the article this week, I missed who said it, claimed it was a 'NIMBY' effect which stopped the levee, a very false summation when the simple facts are that it doesn't add up financially, has an estimated yearly maintenance cost of about $500,000 and there's some doubts about the ability to pump out the amount of water which could collect inside the levee in the event of a flood such as 1992, when local rains were much heavier than the normally quoted 1999 river rise.

There is, of course, the question of what percentage of the broader population would benefit and a bigger question of how many of us actually care enough about those who made bad investment decisions to prop them up even further than we're constantly doing with spending around the CBD now?

Gympie CBD
Gympie CBD Troy Jegers

In the absence of any official poll which would answer the question of if the general population would support such a huge spend and ongoing liability, and with the Mayor not definitive on the subject, I believe we should be hearing from the rest of our councillors as to where they stand on this.

There's an election for their positions in less than 12 months and as voters we should surely be allowed to know if those who seek re-election are willing to, again, chuck funds at the few which could be better used to help many more.

Dave Freeman,

Cedar Pocket