Premier backs disaster affected councils

By Angela Dorizas

Councils affected by recent disasters in Queensland have called on the Commonwealth to allow reconstruction of public infrastructure, such as water and sewerage facilities, to be paid for under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

NDRRA funding is provided to States and Territories to help cover the costs of natural disaster relief and recovery, including restoration and replacement of essential public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. However, the NDRRA does not automatically apply to sewerage and water infrastructure.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has called on the Commonwealth to revisit NDRRA to take into account the unprecedented scale of the disasters and the damage to water supply and sewerage.

Premier Anna Bligh told a meeting of mayors on Monday that she would take the cause to the Federal Government.

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said the Premier should be “congratulated for her strong support”.

"The mayors were happy that the Premier is taking their challenge to Canberra," Mr Hallam told Government News.

“We do need this resolved quickly. It needs to be a matter of weeks not months.”

The Premier also acknowledge the concerns of some mayors about the exclusion of day labour costs from the NDRRA. She told disaster affected councils that Treasurer Andrew Fraser had taken the issue up with Federal Treasury officials.

Mr Hallam said councils also received assurance from the Premier that the new Queensland Reconstruction Authority would work in partnership with councils.


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