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Flood victim says levee will have 'bad' impact on St George

SINKING FEELING: St George resident George Thomas says he believes the proposed mitigation levee will not provide a solution to the town's flood problems.
SINKING FEELING: St George resident George Thomas says he believes the proposed mitigation levee will not provide a solution to the town's flood problems. Lyndon Keane

A PERMANENT levee in St George will have a devastating impact on the town during flood events, according to Mitchell Street resident George Thomas.

As the community waits for predictive modelling - which will pinpoint the optimum alignment for a levee - to be completed, Mr Thomas said he "wouldn't believe" the recommendations put forward by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

"A levee will make a big difference to St George," he said.

"But the difference is going to be all bad."

Mr Thomas has been one of the loudest opponents to the proposed levee because he believes it will impede the flow of water and exacerbate the effect of future flood events.

During the 2012 flood, Mr Thomas' shed was inundated with "two feet of water", while the muddied contents of the Balonne River lapped the floorboards of his house.

The affable octogenarian said he was prepared to put his money where his mouth was if a permanent levee did not have a negative impact on his property.

"I'll buy them (Balonne Shire Council) $1000 of casket tickets if a levee doesn't put water higher up on my place," he said without a hint of sarcasm.

"The alignments they are looking at obstruct a water course so the water that would have been in the gully has to go somewhere."

While the construction of a permanent levee seems like a foregone conclusion, Mr Thomas said he believed that removing agricultural levees and clearing up waterways would negate the need to do so.

"If they clear the waterways and get rid of the (agricultural) levees, I'll cancel my insurance," he said.

"If those things are taken care of, the water will never come up this far."

Topics:  balonne river, balonne shire, balonne shire council, flood, flooding, levees, mitigation, qra, queensland reconstruction authority, st george


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