Premier Anna Bligh will consider new legislation to make it cheaper and easier for Queenslanders to raise their homes above future floodwaters.
Ms Bligh, who visited the central Queensland town of Theodore today to inspect the rebuild, said raising homes was the best solution for many to flood-proof their homes.
“We are looking at how we can make it easier for people to be able to do that and get rid of some of the red tape that might apply in a normal situation,” she told reporters.
“So we’re just working that issue through at the moment.
“For those people who are in a position to raise their homes … that would be a great way of protecting them, their homes and their families in the future.”
Theodore flooded three times this summer and was the first town in Queensland’s history to be fully evacuated.
Banana Shire Council Mayor John Hooper said around 30 residents wanted to raise their homes but the cost would make that difficult.
He said it was a situation thousands across the state would find themselves in.
“There’s no government funding and the cost to do that is in the vicinity of $80,000 so in a lot of cases it’ll certainly be out of the reach of people,” he told reporters.
“… so it would be great if we could get some government subsidy.”
He said building codes also needed relaxing so that homes raised for flood mitigation weren’t treated as renovations and subject to more costly requirements.
Mr Hooper also told Ms Bligh better river gauges were needed so approaching floods could be better measured, and the main road to the airport also needed raising so it could provide a way out if the town had to be evacuated again.
Major General Mick Slater, who is leading the rebuilding effort and travelled with Ms Bligh on Tuesday, said Theodore had made strides in its recovery.
But he was still worried about other disaster-hit areas.
The Cyclone Yasi-ravaged Cassowary Coast and flood-hit Lockyer Valley were still of particular concern, he told reporters.
So too was the situation with houses right across the state, where people still could not return home.
“There are some areas in the state where things are going a bit slower,” he told reporters.
“That’s frustrating, that’s disappointing.
“It’s particularly hard for the people in those communities and that’s where we’re focusing our effort to help those who need it most.”
Source: Brisbane Times, http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/bligh-floats-plan-to-raise-flood-homes-20110517-1eqwl.html