Resilience in new highway flood plan
A $6 million flood-proof route between Gympie and the Monkland and a $3.3 million road upgrade that would open the Bruce Hwy 10 hours earlier have been identified as Gympie's most immediate and achievable flood resilience projects.
Though consultants have yet to be appointed for the $200,000 flood mitigation study, Gympie Regional Council this week formally submitted an in-house Improving Flood Resilience report to the State Government.
Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said both projects would help Gympie carry on during future floods, but opening the Bruce Hwy 10 hours earlier would save the state millions of dollars - hundreds of semi-trailers can be stuck here for days in a flood.
Cr Perrett said more than 200 businesses operated from the Monkland, Glanmire and East Deep Creek, employing 1000 people. With the Silver Bullet locomotive no longer transporting people between Gympie and the Monkland, the financial impact is worse than ever.
The plan to elevate the Graham St bridge and River Rd between Centro and the Mt Pleasant would create access to Pengelly's Bridge and the highway.
Closed highways cost industry $225,000 an hour in a flood, so opening the Bruce 10 hours earlier would save the state so much money the cost of the upgrade would soon pay for itself. It's a point the council no doubt hopes will sweeten the deal.
"These projects may be major outcomes from the flood study but we want to be in the minister's face right now," Cr Perrett said.
"The council is on the front foot. These are a couple of initial projects but we anticipate there will be more, such as Coondoo Creek and Eel Creek to start with.
"It's all about living with floods. This is a fantastic town and we know how to deal with floods. Part of being resilient is knowing."
Gympie businesses are urged to register on the Gympie Floodplan Website via the Gympie Chamber of Commerce website at gympiechamber.com.au.