Beachmere residents are calling for a Class Action suit to be taken out against Moreton Bay Regional Council after several houses were inundated with water in December.
Whilst Disaster Management plans were activated and sandbags made available, there was little or no activity to ensure the combination of high tides and onshore winds was minimised or alleviated.
Instead, the Council has been dismissive of offers of local knowledge and prior activity, in some cases dismantling water “gates” which had worked perfectly well for several years.
A combination of factors, mostly instigated by the Council, exacerbated the effects of what was, comparatively, a “small” high tide.
Works undertaken at the nearby Biggs Ave dog park where creeks with natural flows were widened and deepened, perhaps for a more aesthetic appeal under the recently built bridges, simply allowed more water to encroach further into the land. Unfortunately, the waterway that water travelled into has been left overgrown for some months, a visual example of the failure of Council’s water management plan in the area.
The access between one of those waterways and the lake has been closed, resulting in never before seen flooding of homes.
The Beachmere Lake itself has recently had work commence for refurbishing of lake walls – a job which surely should not be undertaken during the wet season or should have been completed prior to the wet season and influx of high tides. More importantly, the channels which carry the tidal water in and out appear to have been “closed” … perhaps to allow the work to be carried out at a low water level.
Equipment stored around the lake, including at drain sites and waterways, did nothing but impede any water trying to escape.
A long term resident, with many years local knowledge and a career as a highly regarded hydrologist, built a gate system which would allow any high rising water to be drained. This simple, but effective, solution which saved many homes over the years was removed by Council staff some months ago as “not required”.
The recent rain event may have been a concurrence of high tides and onshore winds but it is, perhaps, the concurrence of failures by MBRC to address the water issues that caused the most angst in the tens of houses inundated.
Many home owners are still waiting for insurance assessors to visit or their claims to be paid. In the meantime, sand bags are now stacked by doors and driveways waiting for the next occasion they will be required.