The Australian and Queensland Governments are providing $170 million in Betterment funding to build essential public infrastructure damaged in the 2021-22 disaster season to a more resilient standard.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt said the funding was made available through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and that councils from all over Queensland would benefit from stronger infrastructure.
“This $170 million available in Betterment funding is the largest ever made available in a single disaster season in Queensland with $150 million directly targeting local government areas seeking to build back better following the extraordinary flooding events of 2021-22,” Minister Watt said
Eligible applicants within local government areas impacted by the Central, Southern and Western Queensland Rainfall and Flooding; Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth Flooding; and the South East Queensland Heavy Rainfall and Flooding can apply for projects from the $150 million funding to improve the resilience of essential public assets that were damaged as a direct result of those floods.
A further $20 million made available through DRFA efficiencies is available in all 66 local government areas activated for disaster funding following the nine disasters that impacted Queensland during the 2021-22 disaster season.
“From Cook in the north, to Diamantina in the west, through to the Gold Coast in the south, natural disasters have impacted Queensland communities in all corners of the state in 2021-22 and now they have the opportunity to build damaged infrastructure back better,” Minister Watt said.
“The Betterment Fund will increase the resilience of vulnerable assets, helping communities maintain their connectedness and reduce hardship during and after disaster events in the future.
“The funding will allow applicable councils and state agencies to improve key assets such as causeways, culverts, roads and bridges to better withstand the impacts of natural disasters.”
Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles said the funding reflects the Australian and Queensland Governments’ commitment to making communities safer and more resilient.
“The 2021-22 disaster season has been very challenging for many Queensland communities with some hit multiple times and the clear message is they want to build back better and this additional $170 million in betterment funding will allow impacted councils to do just that,” he said.
“Queensland leads the nation in building resilience through its Betterment programs and its success over the years has clearly demonstrated the benefit of ‘building back better’.
“Queensland has shown how rebuilding impacted assets to a more resilient standard can save money in avoided costs and minimise the impact of future disasters.
“More than 480 projects valued at $243.85 million across 65 local government areas have been delivered through Betterment Funds, providing the resources needed to build back better so the next disaster doesn’t have the same devastating impact.
“Since 2014, there have been 683 impacts to Betterment sites from 33 events, with 85 per cent of projects suffering no damage, and the remainder receiving only minor or superficial damage.
“From the initial investment in these projects, we have seen more than $250 million in avoided reconstruction costs and we expect that figure to increase following analysis of data from the 2021-22 season.
“The Betterment Fund is a great example of all levels of government working together to improve the resilience of our communities,” he said.
The Betterment Fund will be jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments and is being administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.
Councils and state agencies can apply for the $170 million Betterment funding in response to the 2021-22 season at https://www.qra.qld.gov.au/betterment/2021-22-betterment-fund