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Messenger calls on BBG Council Mayor to apologise for lie about vital drain engineering information to Flood Royal Commission.
Independent Member for Burnett Rob Messenger has called on the Mayor of the Bundaberg Regional Council, Lorraine Pyefinch, to officially apologise to the Moore Park Community, after she was forced to admit on 7 TV news that misleading evidence regarding vital engineering information about their drainage system, was given under oath to QLD’s Flood Royal Commission.
Mr Messenger said, “Mayor Pyefinch quite clearly stated to the media last Friday, that the fall in the drainage system was “75mm”. A senior council officer, on the Mayor and council’s behalf told the flood royal commission sitting in Bundaberg under oath that, “there is three mil height difference over a distance of about 3,000 metres, which is a gradient of about one in a million. A drain at one in a million will not flow because there's a grade there””
“Instead of offering a heartfelt apology, the Mayor has then shamefully and arrogantly tried to minimize the damage and hurt caused by the misleading engineering information, by casting doubt over the findings of a private/independent community study, which says that the fall is 130mm.
Whether the fall in the drainage system is 130mm as the community independent study has found, or 75mm as the Mayor now admits, it still means at the very least, that a council officer may have perjured himself to a Royal Commission by giving vital technical information that is 2,500% inaccurate.” said Mr Messenger.
“An independent investigation must be established immediately, to find out if the council officer wilfully mislead the Royal commission or not. At the moment we only have the Mayor’s word to a reporter that the council officer unknowingly gave false information. The senior council officer, who gave misleading information about critical engineering matters to a Royal commission, must be placed under oath again and compelled to tell the truth. Why did he give that information?
The Mayor also now needs to humble herself before the Moore Park Beach community, and at the very least, apologise for using wildly inaccurate information as a reason to delay or prevent the proper cleaning of their drainage system.
Over the last 18months, one farmer has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, homes have been flooded and the public health risk to children and families from mosquito born diseases has dangerously increased, because the Bundaberg Regional Council repeatedly refused to properly clean out the drains. Tens of thousands of ratepayers’ dollars have been wasted on council “experts” and reports (now proven hopelessly wrong) that could have been invested in actual drain cleaning.
The community has also been lectured like naughty school children by the Mayor, councillors and her council officers every time a request was made for the Moore Park drains to be cleaned. They have been told that it would make no difference to the endemic flooding problems and significant public health concerns that the community had because the water would not flow, even if the drains were cleaned out. That has now proven to be a lie and a breach of trust. The Mayor must take responsibility and apologise for that lie.” Mr Messenger said.