Queensland receives funding for natural disaster recovery
Through new funding from the government, disaster-prone regions in Queensland will benefit from road and bridge upgrades and improvements to council flood warning services.
Another $75 million will be invested to increase flood resilience in Toowoomba, Gympie, Bundaberg, the Southern Downs and Scenic Rim, along with areas impacted by the South-East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding event of February to April 2022.
The funding, from the Emergency Response Fund (ERF), will be split across six infrastructure projects, including the Bundaberg East Levee project and upgrades to southern Queensland’s Flood Warning Infrastructure Network.
“These significant resilience projects will help improve flood defences, while enhanced warning and evacuation routes will enable greater situational awareness in life-threatening situations,” said Murray Watt, Federal Minister for Emergency Management.
Councils impacted by floods will also have the opportunity to receive additional funding to undergo any needed infrastructure recovery works.
From 1 July 2023, the ERF will be replaced by the $1 billion Disaster Ready Fund (DRF), which commits up to $200 million per year over five years to help Australian communities protect themselves from the impacts of natural disaster. The first 187 projects were recently announced.
“We will continue to listen to communities and facilitate locally led disaster mitigation initiatives, and we continue to encourage state and territory governments to work with local councils and community groups to apply for future rounds of the Disaster Ready Fund,” Watt said.
Bundaberg East Levee project — Department of Energy and Public Works
This is part of a $174.7 million commitment by the Australian and Queensland Governments to build a 1.7-kilometre flood levee adjacent to the southern bank of the Burnett River in Bundaberg. This levee will increase flood resilience for the community and economy, and will include a concrete floodwall with flood gates, flood doors and pumping stations.
“Partly funded under the ERF, the Bundaberg East Levee project will be a big boost for the safety of the Bundaberg township hit particularly hard by cyclones and heavy rainfalls in the past decade, and we’re pleased to support the Queensland Government in this initiative,” Watt said.
Southside Transport Flood Detour Route Upgrade — Gympie Regional Council
This project will widen a 220-metre section of Copp Road, Pritchard Road and Smerdon Road while improving the road geometry and intersection configuration. This will create a vital transport link connecting the growing Southside with the Gympie CBD if Exhibition Road and Power Road are cut by flooding in the Mary River.
Price Creek Bridge — Scenic Rim Regional Council
Replacement of an existing low-level floodway with a new concrete bridge with raised deck height to increase flood immunity. This bridge provides the only access to the Illinbah community off Illinbah, Tabletop, Gray, Rowe and Price Creek Roads (73 properties with a mix of residential and business).
Easey Street Drain — Southern Downs Regional Council
Current drains will be replaced with a concrete-lined drain and construct a grass-lined drain between the Warwick Gymnastics site and the Cunningham Highway. There are currently 24 properties in the Easey Street flood zone (inundation area is approximately 3.5 ha).
Perth Street (Lake Annand) culverts — Toowoomba Regional Council
The existing 60-year-old culvert will be demolished and replaced with a new reinforced concrete box culvert structure and related infrastructure, including a small weir to reinstate Lake Annand.
Flood Warning Infrastructure Network — Various councils
Continue the rollout of new and upgraded infrastructure to improve flood warning services throughout southern Queensland, with investments to be made across 23 LGAs impacted by the 2022 SEQ Rainfall and Flooding event, from Gold Coast in the south to Gladstone in the north and west to Goondiwindi.
“This will make sure our flood warning infrastructure network across southern Queensland is best protecting communities from any future threats,” said Meaghan Scanlon, Queensland Acting Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
Recovery grants — Various councils
The 23 councils impacted by the SEQ floods in early 2022 will have an opportunity to access a share of $1 million for projects that support ongoing recovery needs, with a focus on recovery of damaged infrastructure.
“These projects will all be coordinated by our state’s dedicated disaster recovery and resilience agency, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, which continues its work ensuring our disaster-impacted communities build back better,” Scanlon said.
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