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Partnership providing value for money for Council's flood affected road network

Recently members of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) Board met with Council’s Mayor, Liz Schmidt, Councillors and senior Council staff.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and physically inspect some of the damage that had been caused to Council’s road network, as a direct result of rainfall, from the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough, 25 January – 14 February 2019 and Council’s recovery from this event.

Approx. 60-70 percent of Council’s 4,108 kilometres of road network has been affected.

“It was great to have the Board of the QRA here to see the scale and severity of the damage inflicted first hand,” Mayor Schmidt said.

Mayor Liz Schmidt was appreciative of the visit.

“Opportunities to speak with the Board in respect to other resilience related matters was also important” Mayor Schmidt said.

“Chief Executive Officer of the QRA Brendan Moon told council the meeting was a great opportunity to discuss the challenges ahead for repairing the regions damaged roads.

“QRA is working with Charters Towers Regional Council to make the recovery as smooth and efficient as possible.

“Mr Moon said he appreciated the task ahead may appear daunting, but that QRA staff will assist council to ensure they can access all available support under the Commonwealth / Queensland funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“The QRA advised that under the Commonwealth’s requirements for DRFA, councils can undertake emergency works and immediate reconstruction works within 90 days of the event to make safe and restore damaged infrastructure.

“Councils may also apply to QRA for Reconstruction of Essential Public Assets funding for assessment prior to undertaking works, to ensure compliance with Commonwealth funding requirements, and reduce risk to Council and its rate payers.  Councils have until 30 June 2021 to complete these works.

“QRA is working with the council to support the development of its application, so it can be submitted to QRA and assessed.

“This method is the standard across Queensland and is being utilised by the 39 of the state’s 77 councils that were activated for DRFA as a result of the Monsoon Trough,” Mayor Schmidt said.

More information on the DRFA process and requirements can be found at the QRA website:

https://www.qra.qld.gov.au/our-work/disaster-recovery-funding

“Council is continually reviewing its reconstruction works to ensure the region’s road network is restored as quickly and efficiently as possible and I thank all road users for their patience and consideration.” Mayor Schmidt said.

During these periods of reconstruction works, Council is requesting that people drive to the conditions and obey all signs for their own safety and for the safety of other road users.

“In some cases it will not be a quick fix.  We are expediting reconstruction to minimise impacts on the community and local businesses.  Road safety for road users and works is council’s top priority.” Mayor Schmidt said.

EJH 18 June 2019