River scans under consideration

Local Member calls for river review.

Community concerns surrounding sediment in the Burdekin River and the possibility of the river itself changing course may soon be addressed according to Member for Burdekin, Dale Last MP.

Erosion scars on the Home Hill side of the river, according to Professor Eric Wolanski of James Cook University, has the potential to develop into a new channel to the sea, cutting the Bruce highway and causing catastrophic damage to both farm land and homes.

“The concerns that have been raised are extremely valid and have the potential to be life threatening,” Mr Last said.  “After consultation with the Water Minister, we have made some progress and a full LIDAR scan of the Burdekin River is now being considered.”

“The scan would provide most, if not all, of the information needed to ensure that action is taken to protect farm land and lives.  Additionally, the scan will provide information that can be used to ensure the long term health of Cape Bowling Green and the RAMSAR listed Cromarty Wetlands.”

“The Minister’s commitment to work on the issue will be welcomed by the community and I appreciate the Minister taking a community interest approach rather than a political one.”

Mr Last said that, while there was no “iron-clad” guarantee that the scan would proceed, he was quietly confident that it will proceed.

“Fortunately, the Townsville City Council has the equipment and expertise needed to undertake the scan,” he said.  “And, considering the Burdekin River is a key part of Townsville’s water security, I would imagine Townsville City Council would be at least open to the idea.”

“Not only would the scan assist with identifying and addressing any sediment issues, it would provide for updated flood modelling which provides better information for our community when there is the threat of flooding.  It also helps with planning for things like transport that, as we have seen recently, can have a ripple effect throughout the state in the event of flooding.”

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