6 April 2011
Joint media release
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon. Joe Ludwig
Shayne Neumann MP, Member for Blair
Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann, today toured flood-ravaged Fernvale, where $8.6 million has been provided to Somerset Regional Council for recovery work.
Somerset Regional Council is one of 44 disaster-affected councils in Queensland sharing $387 million to kickstart reconstruction efforts in communities devastated by the recent floods and Cyclone Yasi.
“We have already rolled out stages 1 and 2 of the advance funding package, with $314 million being delivered to 30 disaster-affected councils, including Somerset Regional Council,” Minister Ludwig said.
“The latest round, Stage 3, is delivering an additional $73 million to 14 councils.
“Importantly, Somerset Regional Council is one of two council areas in Blair that have received advance funding.”
“This accelerated funding will allow Somerset Regional Council to commence important reconstruction work in hard-hit towns like Coominya, Fernvale and Lowood immediately,” Mr Neumann said.
“This injection of funding will help support the local economy, and allow the community to take the first steps on the long road of reconstruction.
“For the first time, funding is flowing to affected communities straight away. In the past, payments have been made to councils after the work was completed.”
Councils seeking advance funding were asked to provide a damage list and a signed funding agreement to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
Funding for disaster-impacted councils across Queensland is likely to exceed $2 billion.
Under the Natural Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements between the states and the Commonwealth, the Federal Government will be responsible for meeting up to 75 per cent of these costs.
“The Australian Government will continue to work in partnership with the Queensland Government in supporting people and businesses in communities like Fernvale – communities that are rebuilding their lives and livelihoods,” Minister Ludwig said.