Landry pours cold water on State's flood funds request
IN the wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and her consequential flooding, a war of words is being waged between the State and Federal Governments over increasing disaster funding for the region.
To cover the cost of natural disasters, the Australian Government established the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) and the State Government is seeking to obtain the highest level - Category D - to assist with recovery efforts.
Following ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia in 2015, the Premier and then Prime Minister Tony Abbott agreed to share the costs of a $27.75 million Category D package.
The Palaszczuk Government has proposed to 50:50 fund with the Turnbull government a $220 million package to provide additional assistance for communities, businesses, industries and the environment following the devastation of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and severe flooding.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the proposed package under the NDRRA Category D declaration, would include key local government infrastructure projects, including the South Rockhampton Flood Levee.
"The flood levee will require the support and funding of all three levels of government. I know the Rockhampton Regional Council is behind the levee and I am proposing the State and Federal Government support it through this Category D package," the Premier said.
Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said this was the perfect opportunity for Ms Landry to get behind this and lobby the Prime Minister for the funding for her community.
"All we have seen from her so far is blatant stalling," Mr Byrne said.
"If four significant floods in 10 years is not enough to persuade her to support a levee then perhaps she can explain what it will take to convince her.
"It is a clear priority for us to proceed with a project that will generate employment, boost our local economy, drive community recovery and make our city more resilient to the floods that will inevitably come in the future.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry has poured cold water on the requests to access the Category D funding.
"The State Government know very well that under Category D that there's no new infrastructure built," Ms Landry said.
"If we had an existing levee and it was damaged, the money would fix it up.
"But at this stage category D does not cover infrastructure projects.
"In the budget we've released new community grants that are available, there's funding available for projects $10 million and over.
"If council wants to, they are quite welcome to apply for something like that."
Ms Landry said she was still gathering feedback to understand the wishes of the people are before making a final decision about the levee bank.