By Paul Hemsley
Communities devastated by flooding in 2010 to 2011 expressed relief that the term of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) has been extended to 2014.
Councils were at risk of losing state government support for rebuilding as the state government weighed the option of disbanding the QRA by looking at the possible consequences of winding it down across various government departments.
The reconstruction effort in Queensland has received $12 billion from the state and federal governments, with $5 billion already spent so far and another $3 billion on the way.
The QRA was originally scheduled to be shut down in February 2013, but the state government later amended the legislation that established the body to extend its term until June 2014 after consulting with key stakeholders.
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) had previously asked the state government to keep the authority operating to prevent unnecessary delays and confusion if the QRA was scrapped.
The peak body has applauded the state government’s decision to extend the timeframe of the QRA’s existence and said it will ‘give certainty to councils still working to rebuild their communities’.
LGAQ chief executive officer Greg Hallum said the QRA has built good relationships with councils.
“We were worried that doing away with the Authority would put us back to square one,” Mr Hallum said.
Mr Hallum said rebuilding work can be completed “as soon and with as little fuss as possible”.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Reconstruction, Jeff Seeney said the authority still had a formidable program of reconstruction works to be completed.
Mr Seeney said the program was taking too long to repair the “unprecedented” flood and cyclone damage.
“We are determined that the remaining work will be completed as quickly as possible and we will demand that the QRA deliver its current program within its established timeframes to complete the task by June 2014.
“All of the QRA’s resources, personnel and activities must be focused on its core business of completing the task of rebuilding affected communities,” Mr Seeney said.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at email@example.com.
Sign up to the Government News newsletter