Mary St business owner Peter Kross walks from his flooded business before the last flood clean up.
Mary St business owner Peter Kross walks from his flooded business before the last flood clean up. Craig Warhurst

Petition says owners in flood-prone CBD should 'sink or swim'

PROPERTY and business owners in the flood-prone section of the Gympie CBD should take their own chances, according to a petition presented to Gympie Regional Council this week.

"At the end of the day we choose where we buy land to build or buy a business and we have to take the ups and downs as they occur," the petition said.

"If a business chooses to rent a shop at a greatly reduced price in a flood area, this saves them money and it is their choice."

Ratepayers should not have to pay for bad business location choices, it argued.

"If a lower end Mary St hotel chooses to spend millions in renovations after a flood, knowing that another flood will happen, then they are responsible for any emotional and financial loss," the petition said.

"It is a sad occurrence but not the responsibility of the council or ratepayers to bail them out."

The petition argued that 4500 Southside residents cut off because of an inadequate bridge were more important, as was making the Bruce Hwy flood-free to the south and ensuring flood-free access to the Cooloola Coast.

The council decided to notify the petitioner that the decision was already made and the council's plan to proceed with the levee project "was on the basis of an economic analysis of the benefits the levee would bring to the whole region".

A staff report said the Aurecon Australia Pty Ltd flood-mitigation study had found the cost to the community of a single 2013-type flood event was $8 million.

"Aurecon also advised that the benefits could be higher, if costs such as emergency services, community support, disruption to transport and services are taken into acc-ount (along with) overall loss of business confidence and a negative perception of Gympie as a place to relocate or invest."