Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Flood Levee's Cost Blow Out

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Flood Levee's Cost Blow Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith

SOUTH Rockhampton's long awaited flood levee has run into funding trouble with the council revealing that it an extra $30million within weeks to deliver the project.

With the future Rockhampton Ring Road set to be constructed at ground level, and closing during flooding events, having an option to flood proof Rockhampton's southern entrance at Gladstone Road lies at the heart of a cost over-run for the levee bank.

In her Morning Bulletin column today, Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow detailed the two options for flood-proofing Gladstone Road - South Rockhampton Flood Levee and raising of Gladstone Road - which were both originally estimated to cost $60million each.

Cr Strelow said a cost escalation in both cases had come about through more detailed design being prepared and the passage of time raising the price tag rise firstly to $70million, and now to just over $100million each.

In the council's budget for 2019-2020, an extra $20million was set aside to cover the levee project, taking its total commitment to $30million.

When added to $25million each from the state and federal governments, the $80million would still fall $30million short of the estimated $110million to complete the project.

"Prices don't often go down the longer you leave things, we need to choose between them," Cr Strelow said.

"(Weighing up the alternatives) it would seem a no-brainer. Excepting the devil is in the detail of who pays for what."

When questioned about potential cost over run on Thursday, she said, "this is far too important a project for us to make significant decisions on the run ... we will take some time for councillors to consider options and for us to meet with other levels of government".

The mayor's column made a compelling case why the different levels of government should contribute an additional $15million to support the flood-proofing levee project rather than raising Gladstone Road. …

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