Flood-affected Queensland councils have applied for nearly $1bn worth of Betterment Fund projects to replace battered council assets and make them more flood resilient.
Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said applications from more than 48 councils proved the $80m joint federal/state fund “fell well short of the mark”.
Crisafulli vowed to continue lobbying the Gillard Government and Abbott Opposition to raise the Newman Government’s preferred $200m funding pool.
"The strong interest from councils has confirmed what I expected, which is that they have been frustrated going through the motions replacing “like-for-like” only to see it washed away the next time it floods," Crisafulli said.
"While you will never completely flood proof, a state as big and diverse as Queensland, I know that stronger assets this time around will ensure the recovery bill will be reduced the next time disaster strikes.
"The projects predominantly relate to stronger roads and drainage, but other infrastructure such as water and sewage treatment plants, bridges and culverts have also been forwarded.”
Several councils also submitted additional requests totalling nearly $400m to fund upgrades to State Government assets such as important Department of Transport and Main Roads’ thoroughfares.
"While the Federal Government has ruled State assets ineligible, the submissions prove that in many cases councils see these as their number one priority, I’ll be working to convince the Federal Government to put these upgrades on the table," he vowed.