LGAQ responds to Yasi devastation

By Lilia Guan
The Queensland Government declared 19 Local Government Areas across Far North Queensland natural disaster zones, caused by cyclone Yasi.
The councils identified as being hit by the cyclone includes: Burdekin, Burke, Cairns, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Charters Towers, Croydon, Doomadgee, Etheridge, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, Mackay, Mount Isa, Palm Island, Tablelands, Townsville, Whitsunday Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah.

Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) advocacy general manager, Greg Hoffman told Government News, councils are looking at having to increase their infrastructure budget up to “20 times”.
“Local governments are looking at a bill of about $2 billion ,” Mr Hoffman said.
“Normal infrastructure spend for councils would be about $100 million, so these governments will have to spend 20 times more than what they would in a normal year.”
Mr Hoffman said the LGAQ had a neutral stance on the issue of a flood levy but he welcomed Prime Minister Gillard announcement yesterday of $5.6 billion to help
He said Yasi had a massive impact on north Queensland communities, some of which were just recovering from the floods that impacted the state over the past two months.
“Recovery from [the cyclone] is still way off,” Mr Hoffman said.
“Communities were badly affected and some were physically recovering from the floods.
Mr Hoffman said LGAQ would welcome an inquest into the management of Cyclone Yasi.
“The State Government already has an inquiry into the management of flooding and the cyclone can be incorporated into the flood,” he said.
“It would be good to talk about how the system for dealing with cyclones could be better improved.”
Mr Hoffman said LGAQ had set-up an emergency response centre to assist councils hit by the cyclone.

Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

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