$24m for Severe Tropic Cyclone Debbie recovery in Queensland

More than $24 million in funding will be provided to local councils across Queensland to improve the resilience of regional communities recovering from Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Debbie.

This funding is available as part of a $40 million Betterment Fund under the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to help local government areas in Queensland with their recovery.

Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, who has Commonwealth responsibility for disaster recovery, said the Betterment Fund would enable communities to rebuild stronger and more disaster-resilient public assets.

"Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie had a catastrophic impact on Queensland communities early last year, causing significant damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure from the Whitsundays to the New South Wales border," Mr Taylor said.

"This funding is for 57 projects across 16 local government areas, providing the resources needed to rebuild essential public assets to a more resilient standard and help communities withstand the impacts of future disasters.

"The Commonwealth Government is committed to working with the Queensland Government to help these local communities recover and rebuild as quickly as possible."

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the 2017 Betterment Fund was a great example of all levels of government working together to improve the resilience of Queensland communities.

"In a state as susceptible to disaster as Queensland, it makes sense to make roads, bridges, floodways and other public infrastructure strong and more able to withstand the effects of floods and cyclones," Mr Dick said.

Mr Dick said while standard NDRRA funding provided impacted local councils with much-needed funding for recovery and restoration of essential public assets after natural disaster events, the intent of the Betterment Fund was to increase the resilience of Queensland communities to natural disasters, while at the same time reduce future expenditure on restoration.

"Betterment improves essential public infrastructure, helping reduce injuries and fatalities from natural disasters, making Queensland communities safer and more resilient," he said.

In addition to the $40 million fund, the Commonwealth and state have also approved $1.85 million in Betterment funding under the Category D Local Council Package for Whitsunday Regional Council to raise the height of Shute Harbour Seawall, which bore the brunt of wild seas and extreme cyclonic winds during STC Debbie.

For more information on the 2017 Betterment program and other Category D funding associated with STC Debbie, click here.

Disaster assistance has also been made available to the local government areas of Cairns, Carpentaria, Cook, Croydon, Douglas, Etheridge and Hinchinbrook that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Nora in late March 2018. In the announcement on 4 April 2018, Mr Taylor said the funding will assist in supporting response operations and to repair flood damaged assets, including local roads.