AFTER RECOVERY: Scott Dowling will grow cereal grains on his now productive land. Photo Anastassia Perets / Central and North Burnett Times
AFTER RECOVERY: Scott Dowling will grow cereal grains on his now productive land. Photo Anastassia Perets / Central and North Burnett Times Annie Perets

Raising resilience to future floods

SCOTT Dowling's property had holes the size of houses following the 2013 floods.

Today it has returned to a productive block of land thanks to an extensive recovery process.

"This was one of the more damaged properties around the area visually," he said.

"For all this time the land has been unproductive, and it'll be good to start growing on it again."

The recovery started in February this year before Cyclone Marcia hit.

But Mr Dowling said the damage the second time around was not nearly as bad.

"We could not do anything to stop some damage being done, so it was just bad timing," he said.

Mr Dowling has been helped as part of Burnett Catchment Care Association's Floodplain program, run by Marisa Young.

Ms Young said it felt rewarding to make a difference to struggling landholders.

"A lot of the work aimed to mitigate for future floods," she said.

"The goal is to make water flow to minimise damage.

"Some of the problems we witnessed included severe erosion, lots of fencing down, and irrigation systems just mangled.

"We had $1.5m in the floodplains project, which covered the Bundaberg area as well."

The Radel property is an example of successfully increasing resilience in land towards future floods.

Floods in 2013 broke the banks out and washed out parts of the land, also leaving debris and timber.

However after Cyclone Marcia, aside from debris over the flat, Craig Radel said the creek bed stayed in place.

"There used to be crops there, but when repairing, we have left it just grass to make sure it was stable," he said.

"The water came over the big body of grass this time, and just washed over the top."

To acknowledge the recovery, a special sign will greet visitors coming to Monto from the north.

Member for Callide Jeff Seeney said the sign was a symbol of the work by the community to recover.

"A small recognition of the hard work that has gone in," he said.


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