Council sumbits plan to help stop flooding in the Lockyer

A $100m plan has been released to flood-proof Laidley, which was hit badly in the 2013 floods. Bev Lacey

LOCKYER Valley Regional Council has submitted a $100 million plan to the State Government to solve the region's flood problems.

The plan went to the Betterment Fund, an $80 million pool aimed at allowing councils across Queensland to rebuild infrastructure better in the wake of the 2013 floods.

Mayor Steve Jones said his council had submitted its Rebuilding Lockyer Better program which was a sensible wish list that aimed to provide integrated solutions to the Lockyer Valley's flood problems.

"We've got some big ticket items in the program which include flood mitigation and some important road infrastructure projects which will allow residents to travel more freely around the region in times of flood," he said.

"We realise that the pool of money available isn't a large one when it needs to cover the entire state so we prioritised our projects for funding.

The focus of our priorities is on projects which directly assist the community in times of disaster.

"We came up with a figure totalling around $100 million for betterment priority projects as well as projects which are aimed at mitigating the impacts of flooding."

Included in council's Rebuilding Lockyer Better program was a staged and integrated flood mitigation plan for the Laidley Creek catchment which could assist in reducing flood levels in and around Laidley and have broader regional benefits for places like Somerset, Ipswich and Brisbane.

"Our council undertook a full analysis of betterment across the region which was a figure well over $200 million but we acknowledge these funds simply aren't available in this initial round of betterment funding," Cr Jones said.

"The focus of our priorities is on projects which directly assist the community in times of disaster.

"We will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth and State Governments to get our integrated solution across the line by seeking funding from this Betterment Fund as well as several other funding programs. 

"Our integrated approach not only assists council infrastructure and Lockyer Valley communities but provides broader benefits for most of South-east Queensland including protection of the Warrego Highway, rail lines, communities in other regions and Brisbane's water supply."

In its submission, council not only considered the physical implications of flooding but also the wider economic impacts that flooding has on the business community, even those which aren't directly impacted.

"Obviously the options we put up won't flood proof every home or business in the valley but at least by building our infrastructure back better we can prevent the same roads and bridges from being destroyed in future flooding events and allow our communities to go about their business in their normal way," Cr Jones said.   

"We must continue to think outside the square in terms of how we rebuild following major natural disasters like we've seen in the Lockyer Valley and across Queensland in recent times."