Ian, Maureen and son Bryce Sharkey at their Lower Wonga house destroyed by flood waters.
Ian, Maureen and son Bryce Sharkey at their Lower Wonga house destroyed by flood waters. Renee Pilcher

Flood buy-up would cost Gympie community $20m

A PROPERTY buy-back scheme for the Gympie region's 130-plus flood-affected properties would cost about $20 million, a bill the State or Federal Government would have to foot, Mayor Ron Dyne said yesterday.

Councillor Dyne was responding to suggestions from the former Warwick mayor that a scheme under which councils buy flood-affected properties should be put up for debate.

Under the scheme, owners of the affected properties would relocate their homes/buildings or rebuild elsewhere.

The flood-prone land would be used for parks or agriculture.

Cr Dyne said that while the idea had merit, Gympie ratepayers could never sustain the $20 million outlay.

"I do not believe a debate would achieve much, other than the participation of a lot of angry residents," the mayor said.

"If you look at affected businesses in Gympie and the fact that the Royal was for sale for $3.5 million, then you would need in excess of $20 million.

"Everyone feels for those people and businesses that have had water through their premises. Whilst the trauma cannot be shared it is hoped that some of the financial impost can be covered by Category C and council is liaising with State Government to have Category D assistance implemented."

Former Southern Downs mayor Ron Bellingham said he believed a buy-back could benefit landholders and councils, saving local authorities time, money and disruption.

After four floods in two years, Cr Dyne has also joined the call for more flood-resistant infrastructure to be built in Queensland.

Would you be in favour of a buy-back scheme?

This poll ended on 14 March 2013.

Current Results

Yes

54%

No

22%

Depends on what they want to do

22%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Gympie Times


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