Regional Queensland has been given a $119.1 million boost by the federal and state governments through a new assistance package for communities hit by the prolonged 2023 monsoonal floods.
The package, which includes a $100 million Betterment Fund to rebuild infrastructure to a more resilient standard across all impacted local government areas (LGAs), has been specifically designed to deliver a long-term recovery strategy for northern and central Queensland.
The assistance includes a $15 million Environment Recovery Package for environmental investigations, the clean-up and recovery of waterways, biodiversity and invasive species management, and national park recovery.
The package will target Boulia Shire Council, Burke Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Cloncurry Shire Council, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council, Mornington Shire Council and Mount Isa City Council.
A further $2.2 million has been allocated for a Human and Social Recovery Package for community recovery and resilience in Burke, Doomadgee and Carpentaria LGAs, and a $1.4 million Economic Recovery Package including tourism recovery and resilience investments, and livestock and grazing land recovery.
The latest round of assistance comes on the back of a range of disaster assistance already provided by the federal and state governments in recent weeks including financial support for all impacted councils to undertake clean up and road, bridge and footpath repairs.
“This support will help the north-west to recover long-term and be more resilient when we face future natural disasters,” says Murray Watt, the Federal Minister for Emergency Management.
“Considering many of impacted areas were also hit by the 2019 monsoon event, investment in Betterment - ensuring infrastructure is built back to a more resilient standard - is crucial to better protecting these disaster-prone regions in the future.”
Premier Steven Miles says the latest monsoon event to hit Queensland has been ‘intense, widespread and prolonged’ leading to significant damage across large parts of the state.
“Travelling to the north-west last April, I saw firsthand the impact flooding had on some of our most remote communities, and the need for long-term investment in stronger infrastructure,” says Miles.
“Our regional transport network was particularly battered, further isolating what are already some of our most remote communities.
“That’s why we’re making a $100 million investment in Betterment projects for impacted communities to ensure these Queenslanders are reconnected sooner when future disasters strike.”
The $100 million Betterment package will be available to all 45 local government areas that were disaster declared at the time, and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads to improve the resilience of essential public assets such as roads and bridges damaged by the latest monsoon and flooding event.
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