Disaster assistance available in the Whitsundays following severe rain
Published Friday, 10 March, 2023 at 03:30 PM
Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan
- Disaster assistance for Whitsunday Regional Council to help repair damage to local infrastructure
- Assistance is being provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments through the jointly funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA)
The Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments have today announced disaster assistance for Whitsunday Regional Council to help repair damage to local infrastructure following intense rainfall in late November and early December 2022.
The assistance is being provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments through the jointly funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Support measures include counter disaster operations to ensure public safety, assistance for debris clean-up, and the restoration of essential public assets to repair roads and bridges, including the Ted Cunningham Bridge that links rural properties to Collinsville and Bowen.
The new support follows extensive consultation with the Queensland Government and Whitsunday Regional Council to determine required repairs, with the extent and complexities of damage resulting in additional planning before the commencement of restoration works.
Quotes attributable to Federal Emergency Management Minister Senator the Hon Murray Watt:
Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said the support would help Whitsunday Regional Council to manage the cost of natural disasters, while also helping the region recover.
“The inability of heavy vehicles in particular to access roads and bridges impacts vital freight haulage routes, with livestock transport needing to be diverted long distances due to weight limitations on alternative river crossings,” Minister Watt said.
“We are continuing to work with the Queensland Government to ensure the bridge is restored to its full operating capacity and that other damaged local infrastructure and community assets are repaired as quickly as possible.”
Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Minister Ryan:
“Catchments were already saturated from the monsoonal activity towards the end of 2022, so when 120mm of rain fell over two days at the end of November water levels rose quickly,” Minister Ryan said.
“This resulted in significant infrastructure damage, particularly to the approaches to the Ted Cunningham Bridge over the Bowen River west of Collinsville.
“While the bridge has reopened to light traffic and an alternative route is in place, the people who rely on this vital freight route need repairs done as soon as possible.
“The activation of the DRFA will ensure Whitsunday Regional Council has the support it needs to recover from the impacts of this severe weather event.”
More information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.
- Minister Watt’s office: Tali Eley 0499 770 772
- Minister Ryan’s office: (07) 3035 8300