Four months on and life is finally looking up for residents in the Lockyer Valley.
The local council today unveiled its master plan to move flood ravaged residents to higher, drier ground.
Clare Hunter has this report.
The Lockyer Valley town of Grantham will never be the same.
There’s no water in sight but all around are reminders of what happened four months ago when the entire region was hit by a devastating flood that claimed 17 lives.
While parts of Grantham look like a ghost town, today’s voluntary land swap deal is seen as a way forward, and will hopefully protect residents from future floods.
Cr Steve Jones, Mayor of Lockyer Valley: “Essentially people will be offered the opportunity to swap the land they had for land on the hill under a set criteria which is very much a title for title type swap.”
The estimated $30 million plan will mean residents can relocate to a parcel of land adjacent to the Grantham township.
Of the 80 blocks of land released, 55 of them have already been snapped up. The aim is to have residents in new homes by Christmas.
Derek Schultz, Resident: “I myself I am considering it yes I am, I have got one home that’s left the other home got washed away, one rental property that got washed away and it’s in the main stream of water so yes I am considering it very seriously.”
But not everyone is keen to take up the offer.
Anne Jones, Resident: “Like a cyclone I have been through a cyclone before and I thought well I rebuilt then and so why not rebuild now and hopefully we will not have one of these big waves of water come through.”
The Mayor says this isn’t a push for a new Grantham just an opportunity for some residents to relocate.
The land swap means the inundated areas of Grantham will now be earmarked for a special memorial, for parkland and even for agricultural purposes.
This could be a great plan for Grantham, but the truth is many residents will not be able to afford the cost to move, a cost that they are expected to pay.
Cr Steve Jones, Mayor of Lockyer Valley: “The actual cost if they want to rebuild or move their house, that physical cost will be theirs, this is a fairly advantageous project for a relatively small council to undertake.”
Whether they stay or whether they go the sentiment is, it’s now time for Grantham to move on.
Clare Hunter, QUT News.