Oakey floodplain risk management

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) is continuing to take steps to ensure all areas within the Region are more prepared for any future flood event.

Following the 2011 flood event, TRC Infrastructure Committee Chair Councillor Carol Taylor said Council had undertaken a raft of flood mitigation options throughout the Toowoomba Region.

“At the end of the day we want to make sure, as best we can, that we never witness what we saw in that 2011 flood event,” Cr Taylor said.

“While it’s not realistic to think we could flood-proof every single property in the Region, Council has been extremely active in building a safer, stronger, more resilient Region by developing a long-term plan to manage and reduce the impacts of flooding.

“As part of this work, Council has developed floodplain risk management planning in six high priority townships, including Oakey.

“To make sure we make the best decisions possible, Council has met with residents in Oakey and has had engineers come up with flood mitigation options.

“A diversion channel, north of Wilthorn Kelvinhaugh Road, was one measure recommended for Oakey and has since been further investigated with a report coming back to the Council this week.

“Prior to the report coming to Council, we met with affected property owners in the vicinity of the proposed diversion channel who raised concerns about property values and adverse impacts to current and future farming operations if the channel were to proceed.

“To address these concerns, Council completed a feasibility study to assess the viability of the diversion channel.

“The report demonstrated that while a diversion channel could be technically feasible, the cost was not only substantial, but would be four times more than the cost of the flood damage that the diversional channel measure could potentially save over time.”

“There’s no doubt we want to get the best result we can for our residents in Oakey, but at this point in time it appears the diversion channel isn’t the best option.

“This doesn’t mean we will be giving up on anyone – we will continue to go forward with what we can.

“I would like to reassure our residents that Council will continue to work to reassess other options, or a mixture of options and solutions, now the proposed diversion channel has been assessed as not a feasible option.”

The Committee’s recommendation will go to the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 22 October for adoption.

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