By Paul Hemsley
Queensland’s Diamantina Shire Council will receive $3.9 million in an ‘advance disaster funding’ process, accelerating the flow of reconstruction dollars.
The south western council made the submission to the Queensland government for 17 dirt roads and a levy in Bedourie.
Advance payments are made to councils in devastated areas, which they can borrow against following the government’s approval and an auditing process to prevent monetary misuse.
Premier Anna Bligh said the Queensland Reconstruction Authority continues to assess and release funding as quickly as possible.
“Our initial aim was to have $400 million in council bank accounts by 1 July and with less than four weeks to go we have 56 disaster-hit local economies benefiting from almost $419 million with more to come,” Ms Bligh said.
According to Ms Bligh, the councils not yet listed for funding “need not be concerned” as advance moneys will be available for them.
Federal Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig said the Commonwealth’s Natural Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements with the States will meet 75 per cent of the costs.
“This is an unprecedented response, the Commonwealth and the State will continue to work closely together to assist Queenslanders in need,” Mr Ludwig said.
The total damage bill for councils will likely top $2 billion.
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