$100 million to improve infrastructure resilience in disaster hit communities

The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments have established a $100 million fund to help communities impacted by the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough build stronger, more disaster resilient infrastructure.

Federal Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the $100 million Betterment Fund was part of the $242 million recovery package jointly funded under the Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments moved swiftly to support Queensland communities following the huge floods earlier this year (2019),” Minister Littleproud said.

“Now we announce the largest ever Betterment Fund of $100 million to enable councils and state agencies rebuild and upgrade key public infrastructure.

“Unfortunately these projects are often repaired just in time to be damaged again during the next weather event, making it harder for communities to build resilience and withstand natural disasters.

“The Betterment Fund was created to break this cycle and enables councils and now state agencies to build bridges, roads, floodways and other essential infrastructure to a more resilient standard.”

Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Betterment Fund was the fourth to be established in Queensland, including a $41.85 million fund following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

“The 2013, 2015 and 2017 Betterment programs have been a major success, with the majority of projects remaining operational and with little or no damage through subsequent disasters, avoiding millions of dollars in restoration costs,” Minister Dick said.

“Not only is this the largest pool of funding approved for Betterment projects, it is also the first time funding will be available for both state and local government owned infrastructure.

“The Betterment Fund is a great example of all levels of government working together to improve the resilience of our communities.”

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority is now calling for expressions of interest from eligible councils and state agencies to identify priority projects within their communities.

In addition to the $100 million Betterment Fund, eligible local governments can also submit expressions of interest under a $14.5 million Water and Sewerage Infrastructure Program to restore infrastructure damaged as a result of the monsoon trough.

The Water and Sewerage Infrastructure Program will restore damaged water and sewerage assets, ensuring essential services are delivered to the community.

Further information about eligibility and expression of interest applications can be found on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 19 July 2019.

Source: Australian Government