AT SURF RANCH: Julian Wilson in Lemoore, California.
AT SURF RANCH: Julian Wilson in Lemoore, California. Kelly Cestari

Surf ranch developers hose down flooding claims

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DEVELOPERS behind the proposed surf ranch at Coolum have hosed down claims that the project will create flooding issues.

When the mega $1.1 billion development was proposed in late September, it was met with questions from Coast community groups on the effects developing on a flood plain would have on nearby flood-prone homes.

Coolum Residents Association and Sunshine Coast Environment Council both raised points on how key flooding and acid sulphate soil issues would be managed.

But developer behind the ranch, Consolidated Properties Group CEO Don O'Rorke assured locals the plans won't create flood issues.

"We want locals to know that there is a process we are working through, which is guided by independent experts from specialist engineering firm, SLR Consulting," Mr O'Rorke said.

"According to Dr Trevor Johnson of SLR Consulting, the creation of a large body of water on the surf ranch site will allow floodwaters to be retained and retarded before being discharged to Coolum Creek."

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Dr Johnson said the new body of water would offset the loss of flood storage as a result of development on other parts of the site.

"In fact, we have found that risk to surrounding properties is negligible and our flood mapping is in line with Q100 standards," Dr Johnson said.

Mr O'Rorke said the consultants were assessing risk using a comprehensive computer-based two-dimensional flood model of the Maroochy River catchment, which has been developed by Sunshine Coast Regional Council and is regularly used for flood and development assessment purposes.

"The flood-mapping report delivered by SLR will also be assessed in detail by independent experts appointed on behalf of the State Government - so there are two levels of approval in place to ensure all requirements are met," he said.