Goondiwindi Mayor Graeme Scheu says the Council was bound by State Government laws that effectively limited its powers to regulate levees.
“I am very aware how much concern this has caused in the community and the Council has been careful to explore all of the options available to resolve the issue.’’
“The regulation of levees was very complex, with the law changed in 2014 to bring levee banks under the State planning regime.”
“The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommended that levees be regulated consistently under State planning laws but that only covers new levees or existing levee banks that have been modified since the laws were passed on 16 May 2014.’’
Mayor Scheu says that for existing levees where there has been no modification to the structure, no approval is required.
“This has affected the way Council goes around dealing with community concerns about levees.”
However, Cr Scheu says that while it seemed this meant some levee banks remained unregulated, other options to deal with the issue remained open to the community.
“It is important to remember that common law nuisance considerations between neighbours still apply here.’’
“However, we have no choice but to observe the planning law in this instance.’’