Council and weather bureau disagree about flood gauge

THE Fraser Coast Council still expects the Bureau of Meteorology to maintain the automatic Churchill St gauge it repaired in June - despite BoM telling the Chronicle the station was "impractical to maintain".

Both parties acknowledged the gauge was faulty at the time of the 2013 floods - and former Maryborough policeman Graham Wode said he told the council and BoM months beforehand it was not working.

He said he believed Maryborough residents missed out on the warning they deserved because it was broken.

The bureau said poor access to the site restricted maintenance work.

When asked on Monday why it chose to repair the automatic gauge, although BoM proposed moving it a bureau-owned manual station upstream, the mayor said he was hopeful it would prove useful.

"Council funded the repairs in the hope that BoM will be able to use the equipment as part of the upriver warning system," he said.

"The Churchill St gauge monitors river heights after they pass Maryborough.

"Council is concentrating its efforts on gaining information on river levels and rainfall patterns from areas above Maryborough to get information to forewarn residents rather than monitoring river heights down river."

The Chronicle is seeking further comment from the bureau.



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