Fed up farmer still fight­ing af­ter 15 years

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

A 72-YEAR-OLD re­tired sugar cane farmer has vowed to fight Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil un­til the day he dies over a drainage is­sue he claims has ru­ined his Fer­rero Rd prop­erty.

Stand­ing in his gum­boots in the pour­ing down rain this week, Jim Ram­say watched help­lessly as his home, tool shed and run­down sugar cane farm sank deeper in the flood­wa­ters.

“I am bloody up­set. I have lost all my farm­ing gear, my shed is flooded, my ren­o­vated house is flood­ing and I’ve lost all my welders again,” he said.

Wa­ter has been drain­ing into Mr Ram­say’s prop­erty for al­most 15 years af­ter three res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties and a road were built on the hill above him.

Mr Ram­say claims that the coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble for the drainage prob­lem be­cause the road built has no drainage sys­tem and fun­nels wa­ter down the hill and onto his land.

“If they want to al­low peo­ple to build up the road, I have no prob­lems with my neigh­bours but they need to safe­guard the other peo­ple in the area from wa­ter drainage,” Mr Ram­say said.

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive engi- neer Bob Baade has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing and sur­vey­ing the prop­erty since the first com­plaint was made but said there is noth­ing coun­cil can do to as­sist.

“This has been on­go­ing for al­most 15 years now and af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing the prop­erty we found the road had no im­pact on the flood­ing is­sue in this area,” he said.

“I or­gan­ised an in­de­pen­dent en­gi­neer con­sul­tant to sur­vey the prop­erty and the re­port came up with the same con­clu­sion.

“It’s just a very low-ly­ing area, the nat­u­ral flow un­for­tu­nately is through his cane pad- dock which no one likes to see.”

Mr Baade the Coun­cil has not re­ceived com­plaints from any other res­i­dents in street and it would cost at least $100,000 to put a drainage sys­tem in.

Divi­sion 10 Coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu vis­ited Mr Ram­say’s prop­erty and will ask coun­cil to re­view the 2006 re­port and re­assess his con­cerns.

“Coun­cil has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that de­vel­op­ments do not cause flood­ing prob­lems for other res­i­dents and their prop­er­ties,” she said.

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