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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience
    The Honourable David Crisafulli

    Gympie Council looks beyond short-term savings

    Minister for Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience
    The Honourable David Crisafulli

    Thursday, August 08, 2013

    Gympie Council looks beyond short-term savings

    Gympie Regional Council is showing the leadership people are yearning for by focusing on a long-term vision and pushing ahead with a flood levee.

    Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said the council’s determination to better protect its community by building a levee would deliver savings to its ratepayers in the long run.

    “It’s not an easy decision for any council to pursue a $22.7 million piece of infrastructure, but this town is clearly in a vulnerable position,” Mr Crisafulli said.

    “Gympie has flooded five times in the past two years, and the council is showing resolve and vision in plotting a course to a better-protected future.”

    Mr Crisafulli said the council was pursuing plans for a levee in the Gympie CBD between the Bruce Highway and the Mary River south of town, up to 22 metres high.

    “The amount of money is not small and there will always be some people who are negative about any change in their community,” he said.

    “What those people have to ask themselves is whether Gympie’s vulnerability is worth preserving?”

    Mr Crisafulli said flood mitigation had been shanghaied by minority interests for too long in Queensland, and not enough had been done in the past 20 years to protect regional communities.

    “It’s not up to us to decide the levee’s location, but it is up to the State to back councils when they’re setting an agenda to stop the destructive cycle of floods followed by clean-ups,” he said.

    “We’ve rolled three flood mitigation and resilience programs into one to give communities the best chance possible to secure funding.

    “The amount of money will never be enough to ensure every community is successful but this is a government that has the appetite and ticker to support projects despite some naysayers.”

    Member for Gympie David Gibson said the community needed to seriously consider the emotional toll of flooding on residents and the indirect cost to local businesses.

    “When I read the flood mitigation report that said all but one of the 47 floods in Gympie’s CBD since 1870 would have been avoided with the proposed levee, I was sold,” Mr Gibson said.

    “How much more do we need to talk about it?”

    [ENDS] 8 August 2013

    Media contact: Monica Rostron (Minister Crisafulli) 0409 126 332 or Gympie Electorate Office 5482 3651