Further disaster mitigation funding must flow

Published: 6th April 2022

The peak body representing Queensland councils says all levels of government must work together to ensure funding flows to help flood-impacted Queenslanders build back better.

The call comes after the Prime Minister last night declined a State Government request to co-fund a $741 million natural disaster resilience package that included initiatives put forward by councils to improve disaster resilience, such as house raising and voluntary buy-backs.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO, Alison Smith, said the state’s 77 councils expect all levels of government to cooperate when lives are at stake.

“More than 4,000 homes need rebuilding and councils in flood-affected parts of the state really do need the Federal and State governments to help shoulder the load,” Ms Smith said.

“To not have agreement reached for extra funding to flow is incredibly disheartening to the thousands of Queenslanders whose homes and businesses need to be rebuilt after a devastating and disastrous summer.

“These Queenslanders need all levels of government to work cooperatively, share information and reach agreement to unlock the funding needed for recovery and resilience.”

With people living in Balonne Shire in Queensland’s south-west bracing for their third flood event this year, Ms Smith also reiterated the Association’s call for the Federal Government to fund 50 per cent of vital upgrades to Queensland’s rain and river gauge network. 

“How many more floods must the nation’s most disaster-prone state endure before the Federal Government comes to the table for a full upgrade of the early flood warning detection network?” Ms Smith said.

“The groundwork for this is already done and we have made sure the Federal Government is well aware of just how far short of reliable the network currently is.

“Our scoping study, conducted last year with the Bureau of Meteorology and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, determined a need for 89 extra river height stations and an additional 364 rainfall stations in areas where the risk of flooding is most severe.

“The current gaps throughout this network are putting lives at risk, as Queensland communities are not getting accurate, vital information when it is most needed.

“Every one of these Queensland communities makes its contribution to the national economy and every one of them deserves to be a liveable one.”

The Queensland State Government has already committed to contributing 50 per cent of the funds for the network’s much-needed asset replacements, along with half of ongoing costs for the network’s operation and maintenance.

For more information, please contact:
Tim Cox, Communications Advisor
Phone: 0436 655 409
Local Government Association of Queensland