Communities right across Queensland will share a $9.5 million disaster mitigation fund for 62 regional projects designed to greatly improve various infrastructures’ ability to withstand extreme weather events.
All the selected, high-priority works are being delivered through Round 1 of a four-round $38 million Queensland Disaster Resilience Fund (QDRF).
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said school children in disaster prone areas will also be given vital tips on how to prepare, cope and deal with natural emergencies they might have to face.
“$330,000 is allocated to supporting the Australian Red Cross’ (ARC) Pillowcase Project, which will see disaster resilience lessons taught to 5000 children in Years 3 and 4 across the state,” the Premier said.
“This ensures young Queenslanders understand the importance of being prepared, identifying hazards in their community, knowing what to pack in an emergency kit, and staying calm during a disaster.
“It’s not just adults that feel the impacts following natural disaster – our children feel it too.”
The Pillowcase Project program will involve students across Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The ARC says children are positive-change agents in their households and communities. If given the opportunity to participate, they can make a very real and positive difference before, during and after an emergency.
The organisation reports the emergency preparedness education programs have shown to reduce rather than increase children’s fears about hazards and emergencies.
These new resilience projects are in addition to a $100 million Betterment Fund and $14.5 million Water and Sewerage Infrastructure Program already funded under Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
The latest projects will be delivered by local governments, state agencies and non-government organisations, and will provide more work and jobs in regional Queensland.
Premier Palaszczuk said the value of this essential initiative can’t be understated, with Queensland having just experienced one of the most destructive storm and fire seasons in the state’s history.
“This investment is all about improving safety and better protecting people’s homes and businesses,” she said.
“Improving our state’s disaster resilience not only protects our communities and our vital infrastructure, it will reduce future restoration costs.
“Queensland is already regarded as a nation-leader when it comes to storm resilience-building measures.
“However, with 11 separate disaster events impacting 61 of our state’s 77 council areas over a six-month period, we must do more, and that’s what this fund is all about.”
Priority projects include bushfire mitigation measures such as fire breaks, riverbank stabilisation, flood modelling and mapping, evacuation centre upgrades, and reducing the disaster risk for people with disabilities.
In addition, delivery of the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan is being supported by the QDRF.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the QDRF will be allocated annually for four years as Queensland works towards becoming the most disaster-resilient state in Australia.
“As a state, we need to do everything we can to stand strong against extreme weather events,” Mr Dick said.
“This is a significant and crucial investment in our future.”
Funding for these projects will be administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Australia’s only permanent disaster recovery agency.
The QDRF aligns with the Queensland Strategy for Disaster Resilience.
For more information on the QDRF visit qra.qld.gov.au/QDRF.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick