The push to make Queensland communities better protected against flooding is changing the way councils can apply for funding.
Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli has called for Expressions of Interest for the first time from the state’s 77 councils for projects that will help their communities be better prepared to avoid the worst effects of the next floods.
“The days of politicians doing nothing except turning up after floods to cry crocodile tears are over,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“This Government is determined to deliver better infrastructure as promised at the election, and the first step towards that is better planning.
“That is in stark contrast to the former Labor government which had no foresight or desire to plan ahead.
“Communities know best what they need to be better defended against flood waters and we are listening.
“This new phase in the local government funding process is aimed at giving councils the maximum amount of time possible to confirm, plan and talk to us about the projects they need to be more resilient.”
Mr Crisafulli said the funds would come from Local Government grants, Royalties for the Regions and the Natural Disaster Resilience Program (jointly funded by the Federal Government) with a projected combined total of about $47 million.
“Different locations need different infrastructure,” he said.
“Building a levee around North Queensland won’t stop a cyclone, but projects such as upgrading drainage will make a big difference locally.
“In some communities it will be a retention basin, in others back flow devices, but it is important that solutions are found locally.
“We can’t flood proof Queensland, but we can do better.
“I must thank the Prime Minister Tony Abbott for signing off on $12 million of funding through the NDRP after it stalled under the former government.”