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Could we block the Bremer?

Councillor Andrew Antoniolli and Planning and Development chairman Paul Tully at the Marsden Pde, Ipswich site that council are planning to build a levee to protect against future flooding.
Councillor Andrew Antoniolli and Planning and Development chairman Paul Tully at the Marsden Pde, Ipswich site that council are planning to build a levee to protect against future flooding. Sarah Harvey

THE floodwaters that enveloped the Ipswich CBD in January could be stopped in future disasters if council goes ahead with plans to build a levee close to the city.

The Ipswich City Council is investigating the feasibility and cost of building a levee on Marsden Pde.

In January, the floodwaters from the Bremer River ran into an area known as Devil's Gully and up Marsden Pde, before inundating Coles and other businesses.

Council is investigating whether a levee could be built to stop water going through the rail bridge underpass on that road.

CEO Carl Wulff told the Flood Commission of Inquiry this week that it was one of a number of other unnamed sites where a levee is being investigated.

"Well, there is probably the glaring example of a possibility, depending on cost and other issues, in the area of Marsden Parade in the CBD," he told the inquiry.

"In the flood event, the Coles supermarket there was national news because that went up to the roof.

"Now, there is a possibility that that could be an effective way of protecting that area of the CBD using some sort of levee structure and flood gate."

He said consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff is doing an initial assessment of the site and council expects to hear back on the feasibility of a levee there before Christmas.

Councillor Andrew Antoniolli - whose division encompasses the CBD - said it could be something incorporated into the future realignment of Marsden Parade.

"It may be be something that is done at that time, rather than doing it now," Cr Antoniolli said.

If the price was reasonable, he expected council would back the plan.

"I dare say there won't be an easy solution for this. I think the thought of doing something here has been raised in the past, but perhaps in the past there probably wasn't an affordable engineering solution," Cr Antoniolli said.

In March, Ipswich bricklaying contractor John Glynn told The Queensland Times that he suggested building a levee at the same location to council.

He suggested filling in under the bridge with a reinforced wall beside the rail line.

Council's planning and development chairman Paul Tully said their investigations would look at not completely filling in the underpass, but at a levee that could be moved into place to block the underpass should a flood be predicted.

Mr Wulff told the inquiry that once the Parsons Brinckerhoff initial assessment was complete, council would consider making recommendations to the State Government on the levee.

Topics:  bremer river flood levee bank floods ipswich city council natural disaster


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