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Funding to flow for flood repair

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The Balonne Shire Council is seeking government funding to repair roads across the region that were damaged by the February 2020 flood.

Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole said Council successfully applied to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) to have the rain and flooding event categorised as a natural disaster.

“QRA coordinates the State Government’s program for infrastructure renewal in disaster‐affected communities and their support of Council’s submission opens up new funding opportunities," she said.

Cr O’Toole said Council’s draft submission for the repair of rain and flood-damaged roads across much of the shire was now being reviewed under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“We’re investigating every possibility to have the repair of all affected roads, fully funded, to inject outside money into our shire to create job security for our workforce,” the Mayor said.

Cr O’Toole said Council crews were initially diverted from regular maintenance to restore access to its road network. However, the State Government funding needed to be secured before Council commence restoration works.

“It’s one of those Catch-22 situations where our community wants roads repaired now, but if we proceed too far before the submission is approved, we could find some of the roads ineligible and Council liable for the cost,” she said.

“We will keep the community informed and ask for your patience as we put the hard work into accessing as much funding as possible for the repair work.”

Cr O’Toole said roadwork activity was continuing in the shire with Council currently completing Transport and Main Roads (TMR) contract and capital works.

“We have contractual and funding obligations to complete TMR works, and I want to assure everyone that when the necessary funding is secured, we will be full steam ahead on repairing the flood-damaged roads," she said.

Cr O’Toole said having the ability to attract government funding for road repair was another good news story to come out of the rain event which was reinvigorating the local agricultural sector and the small businesses that support it.

 

Published: 7th May 2020

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