The Federal Government will be investing a further $91.8 million in funding to northern, Far North and north-western Queensland for disaster recovery and resilience services to support communities in the state’s most remote, disaster-prone areas.
Three new initiatives will support eligible communities and primary producers to recover from significant monsoonal flooding experienced over a number of years, and will strengthen the region to future severe weather events.
This includes a North Queensland Resilience Program of almost $85 million towards preparedness, prevention and mitigation measures to combat natural disaster risk across road and transport networks, community, and the environment.
The program will support local and regional projects that have been identified and prioritised by North Queensland’s most disaster-hit local councils to improve disaster resilience.
Grants up to $150,000 will also be available to farmers impacted in the 2019 and 2023 floods to replenish livestock numbers and replace damaged fencing and other infrastructure, while a $2 million on-farm resilience study will be conducted on the feasibility of on-farm resilience measures such as building livestock refuge mounds and enhancing equipment and infrastructure to reduce disaster impacts.
The package will be administered by the Queensland Government.
This builds on the $119.1 million package announced in January by the Federal and Queensland Governments to help communities impacted by the prolonged 2023 monsoonal floods experienced across northern and central Queensland with long-term recovery.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said that the North cops more than its fair share of severe weather, so investing in disaster preparedness is crucial for keeping people safe and protecting local infrastructure so that it doesn’t wash away with every flood.
“Together with the Queensland Government, the Federal Government is building back better, to a more resilient standard, and working with local councils to deliver projects they know are important for their communities,” Mr Watt said.
“Primary production is the beating heart of the North and feeds so many Australians, so we want to equip our farmers with everything they need to understand and withstand the impacts of Mother Nature and to keep them connected in times of heavy rainfall and flooding.
“We’re also keen to discover new solutions that improve on-farm resilience, and of course the resilience of communities, looking to preparedness, prevention and mitigation measures that are appropriate for our changing climate.”
The Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Nikki Boyd, said that greater resilience is needed to sustain against the continued natural disasters North Queensland is witnessing, and that’s what this $91.8 million investment will deliver.
“In particular the North Queensland Resilience Program will prove crucial for building stronger roads and bridges and protecting the region’s residents, environment and economy,” Ms Boyd said.
“The Queensland Government is pleased to be working with our federal counterparts to provide more disaster support for Queenslanders.”