Thursday, 9 March 2023
Forde Electorate: Floods
Bert Van Manen (Forde, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source
I rise today to speak about the plight of a group of constituents in my electorate of Forde led by Cameron and Alexandra Hoswell of Greenbank. As we all know in this place, we've had several years of floods and cyclones across large parts of Australia. Also, in Logan we had the floods that hit in February last year. Cameron and Alexandra were unaffected, just like their neighbours on the surrounding properties. Their property had maybe some water over it from the local stormwater drain. Many of these homeowners have now lived in their homes for nearly 40 years, and in that time never have they been affected by flooding.
It wasn't until they started shopping around for some different insurance policies that Cameron and Alexandra were told they could no longer be insured with a normal insurer. They of course asked the sensible question why. As it turned out, it's because their property has now been classified as being on a flood plain. Not long after this, they all received letters from Logan City Council advising them that due to 'flood risk' and 'updated flood mapping' their properties were at risk of flooding.
It is a matter of fact that Logan City Council has quite rightly sought to update its flood mapping as a result of the floods of last year and also the floods of 2017, and I have no issue with the council doing that. However, having visited these properties and having grown up in Logan City and experienced floods in my younger years, can I say that if these properties flood the way they are apparently supposed to we will all be in an ark.
The biggest flood risk to these properties is the fact that the Logan City Council have failed to clear and keep clean the stormwater drain that runs between these properties. There is no way on earth that these properties can even remotely be classified as being on a flood plain and having a flood risk. As I said, I fully accept that it's council responsibility to ensure that the flood mapping of the city is appropriate and up to date, to ensure that the flood impacts we've seen on many properties are not repeated, but these are not some of those properties. It is the stormwater drain that they are next to. If the council actually took the time to go down there and get their contractors to clean out the stormwater drains and remove all the rubbish and dead trees and crude gravel and all sorts of other things, and maybe fix some of their pipes in the process, this would not be an issue for these properties, let alone any other matter.
I call on the Logan City Council to actually take the time to go out and meet with these residents, because these residents have been seeking meetings with council officers and their local counsellors to have this issue resolved. To this day, sadly, they have not been successful, which is what resulted in them approaching me in the first place. I can't understand why Logan City Council is not prepared to go and meet with these residents and address their concerns and, more importantly, take on their responsibility of ensuring that the storm drains and watercourses that they are responsible for—through what would be an inexpensive fix of cleaning out these drains and properly maintaining them to prevent any of the so-called risks that they have apparently identified—are being dealt with. The nearest river to these residents of Greenbank is the Logan River, and there is no way that any flood height—even the record 1887 flood—would reach anywhere near these properties. So I call on Logan City Council to do their job, look after their waterways and storm drains and properly maintain them, to reduce any risk to these properties and allow people to get on with their lives unaffected by ridiculous flood mapping.