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Bundaberg flood levee 'a step closer'

The Queensland Government says the Bundaberg East Levee project is a “step closer” to being delivered after it announced that necessary approvals are in place and it has begun to consult with experts to finalise design plans.

The $174.7 million project, jointly funded by the state and federal governments, was approved in June to create a 1.7km concrete levee across the southern bank of the Burnett River. 

The state government says the levee will help mitigate damage from the river flooding for homes, businesses and local community areas within Bundaberg East, Bundaberg South and its CBD. 

It also maintains that the levee will not increase flooding in other areas of Bundaberg and will develop more than 100 jobs through its construction.

The government says the current stage of development will see it work with engineering consultants to help further refine the project’s reference design, which was originally developed with community support in 2018.

Queensland Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni expects construction works to begin by early 2025, but it's not yet known how long it will take to complete.

“This project is vital in ensuring Bundaberg is as safe from flooding as possible,” Mr de Brenni said.

“It’s important that the people of Bundaberg have a voice in the project delivery process, which is why we invite community members to visit the project website and register for updates and invitations to 2024 community events.”

Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt commended the Queensland Government for its progress with the project while acknowledging that there was “still a long way to go”.

“It’s very pleasing that this major project is moving ahead with a clear objective to protect homes and businesses in areas of the city that are vulnerable to heavy rainfall and flooding,” Mr Watt said.

“We know disruptions caused by natural hazards can have devastating economic effects and takes a toll on people’s lives and wellbeing, which is why we are making a real difference through this project.”

The mitigation project was developed as one of four identified following the launch of the Bundaberg Action Plan in 2017, which worked to respond to changing flood risk conditions.

The plan also identified works towards improving evacuation routes for Bundaberg North and voluntary purchase and relocation offerings for high-flood risk homes in this area. It also identified improvements to reduce isolation time in upper flood plain communities by improving evacuation routes.