The Floods Commission of Inquiry heard from four members of the community during its first day.
The Floods Commission of Inquiry heard from four members of the community during its first day. Mike Knott

Flood witnesses slam town plan

A LACK of forethought in town planning came under fire yesterday during the first day of the Bundaberg hearings of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Four members of the Bundaberg community were called to share their experiences of the Christmas and January flooding which crippled the region.

Their testimonies will be used by Commissioner Catherine Holmes to prepare her final report into the flooding which devastated the state in December 2010 and January this year.

Moore Park Beach man Goodwin McLeod told the commission that stagnant water stayed around his Zorzan Dr property for weeks because there was no adequate drainage for the water.

"It has a high water table and in that sense if more water was added naturally it would be above the ground because the water table was so high," he said.

"We considered this an asset as we are interested in gardening."

Mr McLeod said the council had tried to build a drain to direct the water away but had been largely unsuccessful.

Alloway sugar cane farmer Neville Cayley told the commission inadequate drainage and blocked culverts on Goodwood Rd funnelled water down on to New Farm Rd causing problems on his cropping land there.

Mr Cayley said neighbours who had built up their property also caused water to flood into his sugar cane.

Moore Park Beach Community Association secretary and rural firefighter George Shuter said during the floods he had helped people across the coastal community access areas of the town which had been cut off by water.

He said the situation had been worsened because water was not draining away.

Mr Shuter told the commission that he felt a drainage area was in desperate need of cleaning out. He said he believed this would have alleviated some of the flooding elsewhere in the community.

There was standing room only as members of the public packed to listen to the proceedings.

Bundaberg mayor Lorraine Pyefinch, Bundaberg police Inspector Kev Guteridge, Magistrate Jennifer Batts and a number of council workers were among those who sat through the proceedings.

The commission will resume at 10am today.

Witnesses to be called include Moore Park Beach man Larry Borg, Bundaberg Regional Council CEO Peter Byrne, the council's planning and development director Andrew Fulton and North Burnett Regional Council development and environment director Robert Savage.


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