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Restoration works on flood damaged roads expected to start soon

Gladstone Regional Council is set to undertake a $11 million repair program for roads damaged by heavy rain generated by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March.

Council has already completed more than $1 million worth of repairs to roads damaged by the resultant flooding from Debbie’s progress through the region.

The scale of repairs already completed by Council under the joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government’s National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) Emergent Works program has qualified it for possible additional assistance under the Queensland Government Restoration of Essential Public Assets (REPA) program. 

Council ‘activated’ flood assistance requests for funding with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) for the region in March 2017.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said all reasonable and qualifying costs incurred by Council in completing repairs to the damaged roads would be reimbursed by the Queensland Government if its various applications for REPA funding were successful.

“The trigger point for GRC qualifying to apply for REPA flood restoration funding was spending at least $502,000 during the emergent works stage and Council has spent more than double that on repairs throughout the region to date,” Councillor Burnett said.

“Council has already had more than $3.1m worth of REPA repairs approved by the State Government’s Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) and has applied for more than $8m in additional works that are greatly needed.

“We expect to progressively hear from QRA regarding Council’s applications and, once we have confirmation on what works have been approved, we can complete our planning.”

Council advertised a tender offer yesterday (Sept 7) in order to appoint a procurement and construction manager and associated team to deliver the restoration work and QRA approved restoration work could start in late October. 

Works will be conducted initially by Council road crews and later complemented by externally contracted parties.

Cr Burnett said the impending start to road repairs was good news for the region’s rural residents.

“Smaller communities who rely heavily on accessing these regional roads will be pleased to know that works to fully restore the roads will soon be under way,” he said.

“Emergent works were carried out on a number of the roads following the flooding event, but these were just to make them safe for people to travel on and were not repairs to pre-damage condition.

“Permanent repairs will only commence after repair works and associated funding is approved.

“It has been some time since initial emergent repairs were made and if residents believe that a site has deteriorated since the emergent works were completed, and additional repairs are needed to make the roads safe, they are encouraged to contact Council on 4970 0700.”

The whole restoration works program is expected to take about 12 months to complete.

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