$75 million to increase Queensland’s recovery and resilience to natural disasters
Published Thursday, 08 June, 2023 at 12:52 PM
Acting Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
Disaster-prone Queensland regions will benefit from new road and bridge upgrades, and improvements to council flood warning services, through new funding from the Albanese Government.
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 federal 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.
Flood-impacted councils will also have the opportunity to receive additional funding to undergo any needed infrastructure recovery works.
Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:
“The Albanese Government is continuing to push ahead with initiatives that look to reduce disaster risk, help reduce recovery costs and build community resilience.
“We know that every dollar spent on disaster resilience and mitigation delivers a return on investment to governments and households nine times over, while also putting downward pressure on insurance premiums,” Minister Watt said.
“Under the former Morrison Government the Emergency Response Fund failed to build a single disaster mitigation project in three years, while earning them over $800 million in interest. Now, we are using this fund to make a real difference for Queensland.
“These significant resilience projects will help improve flood defences, while enhanced warning and evacuation routes will enable greater situational awareness in life threatening situations.
“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.
“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.”
Quotes attributable to Queensland’s Acting Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Meaghan Scanlon:
“The Palaszczuk Government identified these longer-term resilience projects as ones that will provide maximum benefit to areas at most risk.
“Projects such as the flood detour route upgrade in Gympie, a new bridge over Price Creek in the Scenic Rim, the replacement of the current Easey Street drain in Warwick, and a new culvert on Perth Street in Toowoomba.
“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.
“Additionally, the Albanese and Palaszczuk governments are working together to investing in more rain and river height gauges, flood warning road signs and cameras.
“This will make sure our flood warning infrastructure network across southern Queensland is best protecting communities from any future threats.
“Our rain and river gauge network is also vital for the Bureau of Meteorology as it informs the flood warnings issued to communities during a severe weather event.
“I want to thank the Commonwealth for listening to what our state needs when it comes to disaster resilience support.”
“We can’t predict the future, but we can prepare for it, and these investments will put Queensland in a stronger position when we face natural disasters in the years ahead.”
Bundaberg East Levee project - Department of Energy and Public Works
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.
Southside Transport Flood Detour Route Upgrade - Gympie Regional Council
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
Replace current drain 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 3.5ha).
Perth Street (Lake Annand) culverts - Toowoomba Regional Council
Demolish and remove the existing 60-year-old culvert and replace this 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 roll-out 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.
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.
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 announced yesterday.
Minister Watt: Tali Eley 0499 770 772
Queensland Government: Emilia Hutchinson 0437 060 435