The long-awaited decision on levees in Emerald has been delayed until April 2017.
Council was advised at its meeting on Tuesday that due to some serious mitigating circumstances surrounding the supply of survey information, the business case for the levees, which was promised this month, will not be completed until March 2017.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes addressed members of the public gallery representing landholders potentially affected by the levees that council would have to live with its broken promise.
‘There are people here today and others in the community that live every day with the expectation council will provide them with a firm decision about their future,’ he said.
‘And every day that this decision exceeds the time that we told them is a disappointment and we will have to wear that.
‘We will certainly make sure our resolve on the mitigation projects does not waver—and, in fact, work has already started.
‘There’s been a lot of work done to secure the sites below Vince Lester Bridge to excavate. It has been an absolute priority for our officers to complete the negotiations for this work in very difficult circumstances, but it has now been completed and work is proceeding right now on the northern section of the Nogoa River.
‘In terms of mitigation and threat and risk, this council moves on with those things that we said that we’d do to the point where we’ve made an agreement with the excavation contractors for more machinery to make it happen faster.
‘The news about the business case is certainly a disappointing setback. But everyone can be assured that we won’t tolerate a move past March next year—that is the end date.
Council will have the business case on the agenda at the meeting of 11 April 2017 although a decision on its contents may not be made on that date the mayor added.