A new recovery and resilience package has been announced by the State and Federal Government to assist in long-term recovery in flood-affected communities. 

The $119.1 million package will be jointly funded by both the Queensland and Federal Governments to help communities impacted by the prolonged 2023 monsoonal floods experienced across northern and central Queensland.

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said, “This monsoon event was intense, widespread and prolonged, causing significant damage across large parts of Queensland.”

The package will build upon previous assistance, and will support infrastructure reconstruction and long-term community, economic and environmental recovery.

The package is funded under Category C and D of the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

It follows a range of disaster assistance already provided by state and federal governments after the event, including:

  • Financial support for all impacted Councils to undertake clean up and road, bridge and footpath repairs
  • Local Recovery and Resilience Grants for the most heavily impacted north-west Queensland councils – Boulia Shire Council, Burke Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council and Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council ($4.25 million total)
  • $6 million in recovery grants for impacted primary producers, small business and not-for-profits in seven of the hardest-hit regions
  • $5.75 million specialised livestock support and disposal program
  • $1 million towards community mental health and wellbeing services in Boulia Shire Council, Burke Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council and Mount Isa City Council

The $119.1 million exceptional circumstances DRFA funding includes a variety of funds and programs to support recovery in affected communities

The $100 million Betterment Fund, which is available to all 45 local government areas that were disaster declared at the time, and the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, will improve the resilience of essential public assets like roads and bridges damaged as a direct result of the monsoon and flooding event.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said, “Considering many of the 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.”

A $15 million Environmental Recovery Package is comprised of four programs to support the state’s recovery:

  • The $6.5 million Healthy Waters Clean-up and Recovery Program will see the removal of flood debris from impacted waterways and coastlines
  • The $3.5 million Biodiversity and Invasive Species Management Program will support pest and weed management projects
  • The $3.5 million National Park Recovery Program will manage impacts and threats to the iconic national parks and World Heritage areas in Queensland’s north-west
  • The $1.5 million Environmental Investigations Program will support data collection and stakeholder engagement

Available to Boulia Shire Council, Burke Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Cloncurry Shire Council, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council, Mornington Shire Council and Mount Isa City Council will be three specific packages, including:

  • A $2.2 million Human and Social Recovery Package that will support Community Recovery and Resilience Officers (CRRO) in Burke, Doomadgee and Carpentaria LGAs
  • A $1.4 million Economic Recovery Package, of which the $1.15 million Tourism Recovery and Resilience Program will fund a regional destination marketing campaign and tourism recovery officers. Additionally, the $250,000 Livestock and Grazing Recovery Program will engage a beef extension officer to support primary producers with animal welfare and land management
  • $500,000 for monitoring and evaluation

Mr Watt said that the support provided by the various funds will help the North West to recover long-term and be more resilient when faced with future natural disasters. 

“I hope today’s announcement shows communities we are with them well-after the flood waters recede, and will keep working with the Queensland Government, local councils, and community leaders to ensure northern and central Queenslanders receive the support they need to rebuild and recover from these events,” Mr Watt said.

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