More money for flood recovery
MORE flood recovery money was announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard this morning.
A $45 million support package will target the worst hit areas and is part of a broader flood relief package that includes specialised assistance to aid clean-up efforts, community recovery initiatives, impacted businesses, primary producers, and day labour costs.
The North Burnett has been allocated a standalone community recovery package of $5 million to roll out mental health services, community events and facilities designed to help the community heal together.
A further $40 million will be contributed toward a Betterment Fund that will rebuild council-owned roads and assets so they are more flood proof.
Under the fund, projects to improve drainage, strengthen road sealings, and stabilise slopes and shoulders will improve the resilience of council-owned roads to withstand flood events.
CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia Rob Whelan said the commitment was a significant financial step towards protecting the viability and sustainability of many flood-prone communities.
"The announcement today will ensure that at-risk Australian communities will be better protected in the future from the devastating effects of floods," he said.
A statement released today said this new package was an addition to the support already being provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which are jointly funded by the Australian Government and the states.
Under those arrangements, it says, the Commonwealth will meet 75% of the costs for restoration of essential public assets - the single largest expense to get communities back on their feet.
But Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said this was less than half the amount of money Queensland needed to get back on its feet.
Mr Crisafulli said the Queensland Government had asked the Federal Government to match the $140 million for flood security and resilience as a minimum to help recover.