Mitchell River

Carpentaria Shire Council is set to receive more than $22 million in Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to repair the Mitchell River Crossing. 

The $22 million funding is part of a range of betterment projects worth $170 million being rolled out to Queensland local government areas impacted in the 2021-22 disaster season.

Dunbar Koolatah Road has been closed since December 2022 due to high water levels and extensive flood damage in the aftermath of a severe monsoon event. 

The crossing links rural properties between Koolatah and Maramie to business centres such as Normanton and Mareeba.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the closure of Dunbar Koolatah Road is proving especially challenging for livestock transport providers, adding three hours to their travel time as they use an alternate route.

“Repairing this crossing to a more resilient standard will be a huge boost for the region, especially local cattle properties and FNQ communities like Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Aurukun and Weipa,” Mr Watt said. 

“Betterment funding allows disaster-impacted councils to get on with their flood recovery efforts, with investments like this helping minimise future damage to essential public assets.”

The project is jointly funded by the Queensland Government through the DRFA under the 2021-22 Betterment Fund. 

Carpentaria Shire Council Mayor, Jack Bawden, said the funding aims to ensure a new crossing will be constructed to allow road movements to continue much earlier than has occurred in past years.

“This funding is a game-changer for road users within this part of the council area, and our rural landowners in the Mitchell River area will be very pleased with this funding announcement also,” Mayor Bawden said.

Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, said flood damage continues to be assessed across the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York Peninsula regions, following severe thunderstorms and intense rainfall which began in late December 2022.

“Many remote and regional communities across Queensland are still feeling the impact of these floods, compounded by last year’s heavy monsoon season,” Mr Miles said.

“Through the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, we will continue to support projects like this to ensure the safety and welfare of our most isolated Queenslanders.”


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