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    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Record $121M disaster payouts help communities get back on track: Boyle

    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Record $121M disaster payouts help communities get back on track: Boyle

    Local Government Minister Desley Boyle said today the Government had provided a record $121 million in funding already this financial year to help communities cover the cost of rebuilding essential infrastructure damaged by cyclones, floods and other natural disasters.

    Ms Boyle said the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Assistance (NDRRA) payout figure this year was about 25% larger than the 2007-08 figure of $98.03 million.

    “By the end of June this year, we expect to distribute a further $29 million, ensuring this financial year will become the single largest in Natural Disaster funding since the program commenced,” Ms Boyle said.

    “This has been a tough 12 months all over the State whether it has been the storms in The Gap or monsoonal flooding from the cyclones Ellie or Charlotte. More recently we’ve had flooding in the Gympie and Sunshine Coast areas.

    “The scale of devastation caused by these disasters has been immense so it’s no surprise many councils have needed assistance in covering the cost of clean up and repairs.

    “In some of the council areas the road networks suffered quite considerable damage, which certainly made things difficult for local residents, schools and businesses.

    “In these circumstances, one of the most important things is to get these vital local road networks and other critical council infrastructure back in operation.

    “The NDRRA program helps offset the costs councils face when repairing assets. We know this can be a huge cost impost, so the program has an important role to play in making sure the repairs get done and the costs are covered.”

    Ms Boyle said the Bligh Government is committed to ensuring councils have the ability to repair vital public assets quickly in order to minimise disruption to the community.

    “I am happy to announce the most recent disaster funding payouts through NDRRA this financial year include:

    • $2.25 million to Moreton Bay Regional Council for emergency works and immediate post-disaster repairs caused by storms and flooding in November 2008;
    • $836,287 million to Barcaldine Regional Council for repairing submergence damage to local roads following monsoonal rain and flooding in January-February 2009; and
    • $482,615 to Mount Isa City Council for emergency works and immediate post-disaster repairs following monsoonal rain and flooding in January-February 2009.

    Ms Boyle said the significant events that have triggered disaster assistance payouts during 2008-09 to date included:

    • North and west Queensland monsoonal flooding in January 2009
    • Tropical Cyclone Charlotte in January 2009
    • Tropical Cyclone Ellie in February 2009
    • Queensland monsoonal flooding in February 2009
    • Sunshine Coast and Gympie flooding April 2009

    “As we continue to deal with the challenges of economic instability and climate change, Natural Disaster funding will continue to play a key role in helping to get communities back on their feet following natural disasters,” Ms Boyle said.

    Media Contact: Minister Boyle’s Office 3227 8819