Council aim to ease flood pain



A new era for one of the Gold Coast's most popular beaches will be ushered in under a multi-million dollar council program which aims to dramatically reduce the risk of flash flooding.

The program will involve the removal of the large stormwater outlet near the Burleigh Heads surf club, as part of an overall upgrading of the drainage system in the area.

Council's engineering services committee has backed the program and it will now go to the general meeting on Monday for official approval.

Committee chairman Ray Hackwood and area Councillor Greg Betts hailed the program as a huge boost to the beach's appeal with the stormwater outlet a source of concern for residents and tourists - and added protection from flash-floods.

They said the program would produce flow-on benefits for all residents and tourists.

Cr Hackwood said that even though it was impossible to cater for all freak weather events, as evidenced during the deluge earlier this month, the new drainage system would help cater for many flash-flood scenarios.

"There is a limit to any drainage system no matter what capacity or upgrading works are carried out," Cr Hackwood said.

"There is only so much water that can be carried away via stormwater pipes during a downpour.

"But what we aim to do is to substantially upgrade the drainage system to improve its effectiveness and provide much more protection for the Burleigh CBD during storms and other major wet weather events."

Cr Hackwood said the drainage system currently serving the Burleigh Central Business District was constructed about 1967, according to drainage standards at the time. These standards had altered in the ensuing years.

Population growth and continued development in the Burleigh Heads area had continued to increase the load on the 40-year-old drainage network since its installation.

Cr Hackwood said the inadequacy of the drainage system had been highlighted during recent downpours including the downpour earlier this month and the freak storm that hit the Burleigh area on December 7, 2004.



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