The recent “rain bomb” flooding that has affected South East Queensland from Maryborough through to the Gold Coast (and beyond into New South Wales) has resulted in millions of dollars worth of damage to property and assets. Along the waterways are damaged and missing pontoons and jetties including private structures adjoining freehold lots, commercial structures eg fishing wharves as well as marinas and public use structures eg ferry terminals and river walkways. Needless to say it is going to be a costly and time consuming task to replace these structures.
Historically, when an event such as this occurs in Queensland, the State (Dept of Environment & Science) issues an Exemption Notice (valid initially for two years) that allows the responsible entity (usually the adjoining property owner) to replace an approved structure in the same footprint. DES is currently considering a similar action for the current rain event. Given that the event has been declared a natural disaster, the possibility of the exemption being issued is high.
The reason the exemption is so important is that usually, under the Accepted Code of Development for marine structures, only 20% of an approved structure may be repaired, replaced or maintained without the need for a new approval. Given that whole structures have been taken by the flood waters or significantly damaged, this would mean a serious volume of new DA’s required – ultimately overloading the Council and Govt departments. The exemption is also vital in allowing people to rebuild their homes and Council and other Department of Transport to rebuild public facilities without the cost of development application fees.
Whilst the exemption is yet to be issued, our licensing and permits officer is in contact with the department concerned and we will provide updates as they are available.
In the meantime, if you have had any pontoon, boat, jetski, drydock or other similar item that has been taken by the flood waters we recommend contacting the relevant Maritime Safety entity below as some have been able to retrieve damaged items from the waterways:-
- In the Brisbane or Sunshine Coast areas, send an email to email@example.com. a
- In the Gold Coast area, contact Gold Coast Waterways Authority – Phone 5539 7350 and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the Bundaberg or Maryborough areas, please contact Bundaberg Maritime Safety on 4132 6600 and email email@example.com.
Your email to these entities should include as much of the following information as possible/applicable to provide evidence of your ownership:-
- Your name and contact details (email and phone number);
- Property location;
- Vessel registration details;
- Identification plates from pontoons OR a copy of the Development Approval showing pontoon size and other identifying features; and
- Photos of the structure/vessel.
Stay safe everyone.
Should you require further information, please contact Trish Belt – Licensing and Permits Officer on 5443 2844.