Canberra honours NDRRA agreement … almost
Councils have welcomed the Commonwealth’s decision to reimburse the $1 billion in disaster funding owed to Queensland but have vowed to continue fighting for more than $8 million in unpaid plant and equipment costs.
The Federal Government yesterday confirmed it would pay the money it owed Queensland for disaster reconstruction work claimed in 2014-15, when the state was devastated by disasters including cyclones Oswald, Ita and Marcia.
“Suffice to say, we welcome the news that the Turnbull Government will honour the terms of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA),” Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
“When this money withheld, it not only set councils back financially, but it created uncertainty in the future of disaster relief funding.
“Thankfully, the Commonwealth has done the right thing and agreed that the claim for disaster recovery works is valid.”
But Mayor Jamieson said the LGAQ would continue pressuring the Government to repay more than $8 million to 38 Queensland councils which used their own plant and equipment to rebuild following floods and storms in 2013-14.
“It’s small change for the Government but it’ll have an enormous impact on some of our smallest and most remote communities that are still trying to bounce back from a natural disaster two years ago,” he said.
“This funding failure has severely disadvantaged councils as they prepare for what is predicted to be a torrid storm season.
“Thankfully the State Government kept its word on paying its 25 per cent share of the NDRRA funding, which is worth about $2.5 million.”
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned Queenslanders to brace for a more active storm season, saying there is a chance that four cyclones could form off the east coast and three in the Gulf of Carpentaria, causing widespread torrential rain and flooding.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006