$20 MILLION IN BETTERMENT PROJECTS FOR REMOTE AND REGIONAL QUEENSLAND
Published Thursday, 17 November, 2022 at 10:28 AM
Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Queensland’s remote and regional communities will be able to build disaster-damaged public assets from the 2020-21 disaster season back to a better standard after they shared in $20 million in Betterment funding.
A total of 39 projects have been approved across 21 councils, including nine Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander councils through the $20 million Betterment Fund, jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.
A full list of the approved projects is available at: www.qra.qld.gov.au/betterment
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt said the large proportion of these projects relate to the sealing of roads or upgrades to drainage and floodways. These works will improve the resilience of communities by ensuring more reliable and durable access, allowing a return to normal as quickly as possible after the next disaster.
“This is all about building back better than it was, so that infrastructure is stronger and more resilient in case another natural disaster hits,” Minister Watt said.
“It’s fantastic to see funding going to remote communities that are so frequently impacted by natural disasters – this funding will provide short term benefits through local jobs and the long term benefit of better protecting community assets during the next natural disaster.”
A total of $10 million has been approved for First Nations communities, including $3.3 million for Hope Vale Aboriginal Council to upgrade and seal Alligator Creek Road and Cooktown-McIvor Road and $1.4 million for Torres Strait Island Regional Council to rebuild a 120-metre-long reinforced concrete roadway on Dauan Reservoir Road.
Deputy Premier and Minister Responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles said this latest round of approved betterment projects highlighted the Queensland Government’s ongoing commitment to making communities safer and more resilient.
“Making this $20 million available to all local government areas impacted in the 2020-21 disaster season saw councils from the Torres in the north to Goondiwindi in the south to Bulloo in the west access this betterment funding,” Mr Miles said.
“Communities across the state will reap the benefits including Southern Downs Regional Council, which has been approved for $1.17 million in betterment funding to construct four concrete floodways with sealed approaches along Condamine River Road.
“Balonne Shire Council has been allocated $1.2 million to build a concrete floodway and seal two sections of Cubbie Road.
“These are just a couple of the 39 projects approved in this program that we expect will build on the success of our previous betterment programs, which have clearly demonstrated the benefit of ‘building back better’.
“In total, more than 520 projects valued at $263.85 million across 71 local government areas have been approved through Betterment Funds, providing the resources needed to build back better so the next disaster doesn’t have the same devastating impact.
“The latest council data indicates 375 of those projects have been impacted again by a subsequent natural disaster event and have remained undamaged or suffered only minor or superficial impacts.
“To date, more than $390 million in reconstruction costs have been avoided.
“The Betterment Fund is another great example of all levels of government working together to improve the resilience of our communities.”
The funding was made available through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
The Betterment Fund was the first program ever in Australia to be delivered through the DRFA efficiencies framework and was available to all local government areas impacted in the 2020-21 disaster season.
The fund is being administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
Minister Watt’s Office: Tali Eley 0499 770 772
Deputy Premier’s Office: Amy Hunter 0423 651 484