24 May 2011
Joint media release
Premier of Queensland the Hon. Anna Bligh MP
Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, Minster for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator for Queensland the Hon. Joe Ludwig
Communities in the Somerset region will receive additional funding as part of the on-going support for Queenslanders following the summer of natural disasters.
Premier and Reconstruction Minister, Anna Bligh, and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, today announced that the Somerset Regional Council would receive new funding as part of the $20 million Community Development and Recovery Package.
The Somerset Regional Council will receive $700,000 in funding which includes provisions for a community development officer as well as grants for local council disaster-related projects.
The 17 Local Councils worst hit across Queensland will share $9.9 million of the package to employ community development workers. These officers will work closely with the community and help them establish projects that will support recovery.
The package also provides funding for grants for the provision of disaster-related projects. This could include public memorials, anniversary events, community events and festivals, and community education and information about disaster preparedness.
Premier Bligh said that Community Development Officers would contribute significantly to the wellbeing of the community.
“The experience of previous disasters shows that the worst hit communities require additional support at a local and household level. Development Officers will work with the community and with individuals to work through complex cases and rebuilding efforts.
“We want to make Queenslanders stronger and more prepared. These officers will be vital for accessing services, building resilience and restoring community’s wellbeing and health.
“The Local Government Association of Queensland will be funded to coordinate and provide support to the community development workers.”
Minister Ludwig said that grants to local councils would allow for communities to develop their own disaster-related events, services and projects.
“The funding across all councils will ensure that communities are able to plan effectively for long-term sustainability and be better prepared for future disasters.”
Under the Disaster Management Act 2003, local governments across Queensland are required to prepare a local disaster management plan.
“This is why we are making these funds available to councils, so the projects the community thinks are important for their preparedness, recovery and resilience can be included in their plans,” Premier Bligh said.
“The natural disasters have disrupted and, in some cases, devastated the lives of many individuals and families. This funding package will support those people as they rebuild both their lives and their communities.”