Flooded road rules unworkable in Gulf: Katter
Laws preventing people driving through low-level flood waters need to be changed to allow the Gulf regions businesses to continue business in the wetter seasons, the Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter said today.
Mr Katter has written to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson calling on him to examine the option of wavering or altering the flood laws which came into effect after the Brisbane floods in 2011.
I told Parliament last week, and will follow up at our next session on April 16-18, that while those laws are relevant to most of the State, they are not relevant to some of the special conditions in the Gulf.
Currently the Police Service monitors and enforces the rules which prevent cars crossing a road or bridge when floodwaters reach 200mm.
In Normanton and Karumba that can result from just a king tide.
Mr Katter said people in those communities are really struggling over the issue, and Carpentaria Shire Mayor Fred Pascoe has expressed his concern about the impact on community events and industry.
Road trains can safely go through 400mm of 600mm even up to 1m to get food and other goods through to people in flood times.
But now they are being stopped by what the locals consider a trickle over the road.
While permits are available for drivers to cross roads under certain water levels, Mr Katter said they are too onerous and unworkable.
If a truck driver turns up at a flooded crossing in the Gulf late at night, he has to turn around and go back to Karumba or Normanton and get a permit.
That adds costs and delays to the delivery of important food, goods and equipment to many Gulf centres.
Mr Katter said the Government should bring common sense back to the issue.