Duffy hopes flood gates will open flow of votes in election
MAYORAL candidate Gary Duffy is promising to stop flooding in Ipswich, if he is elected mayor.
Mr Duffy's plan will bring together all three tiers of government to create the Bremer Flood Authority and construct a protection system designed to resist a "one-in-200-year flood".
The plan begins with a floodgate at the railway underpass at Marsden Pde, Ipswich and will include one-way valves installed in all stormwater pipes to secure the CBD from flooding.
"Floods in Ipswich happen when the rivers, of the Bremer and the Brisbane, join in the wet season to become a frightening threat to life and property with devastating effects to the Ipswich economy," he said.
"If elected I will join with the State Government, Federal Government to come together to fund and empower a new body ... to construct a flood protection system designed to resist a one-in-200-year flood."
Mr Duffy said the likelihood of damaging floods varies from year to year, but businesses and home owners should feel safe in the fact they will not be affected.
His plan will make Ipswich "one of the most flood-resilient cities in Australia".
He references Launceston, Tasmania and a flood protection program which involves 12km of flood levees, 700m of low barriers and 16 flood gates, as well as dozens of one way valves in stormwater pipes which secure the city sewerage system in floods.
"Their budget for the scheme was $55 million, which was funded from all three levels of government, and it has protected in excess of 4000 homes and properties from flooding with its biggest test in 2016, where the flood waters in the (North) Esk River were at record levels," he said.
The $55 million was delivered over ten years. Comparatively the cost of the clean-up of Ipswich after the 2011 floods was in excess of $130 million and the cost to the Australian economy from the 2011 floods was estimated to exceed $1 billion.
"Ipswich can be flood protected and we can do it if we put the right system in place, we can have in excess of 3500 properties flood protected within three years," Mr Duffy said.
He believes the flood protection will "dramatically and immediately improve sedimentation and pollution in the river" and the economy, by providing security for business owners.
The Bremer River is at the heart of the two mayoral candidates' campaigns, with former division seven councillor David Martin spruiking plans for concrete banks on the Bremer River, better water quality and a second pedestrian bridge to reactivate the CBD.