NOT ENOUGH: Mayor Bill Ludwig is seeking additional Category D funding from the Federal Government.
NOT ENOUGH: Mayor Bill Ludwig is seeking additional Category D funding from the Federal Government. Chris Ison Rokcfunding

Livingstone Mayor seeks more cyclone recovery funds

IT'S highly unlikely the $27.75million in Category D funding allocated to four Central Queensland councils will be enough, according to Bill Ludwig.

The Livingstone Mayor is urging the Federal Government "not to short-change the region" while local communities continue to rebuild after Cyclone Marcia.

Cr Ludwig last week met with Queensland Reconstruction Authority CEO Frankie Carroll to highlight likely funding shortfalls in the Category D package.

The $27.75million will be shared across the Livingstone, Rockhampton, Banana and North Burnett local government areas.

"Our concerns stem from the fact that the Queensland Government had estimated that $80million would be needed to be contributed each from the State and Federal government to fully fund the recovery effort under Category D arrangements," Cr Ludwig said

"What the Federal Government has committed to is $13.8million, approximately 17% of the State Government's original estimates.

"Council intends to work closely with both our Federal and State representatives to urge the Federal Government to increase the funding allocation if, as we expect, the current funding allocation does not cover the final costs."

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry reiterated her position on Category D funding, saying it was not designed to build new infrastructure but rather repair existing infrastructure that had been damaged.

"I have already taken Bill down to Canberra to meet with the PM to discuss Category D funding," she said.

"He has spoken at the highest level possible about this but if he still has concerns I will take them back to the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan."

Cr Ludwig said it would be a "false economy" not to rebuild assets such as the Scenic Hwy at Statue Bay to a stronger state to prevent this damage recurring.

"It is likely the total costs of these works alone will be in excess of $15million," he said.

"Similarly, the majority of our 106 beach accesses have suffered significant damage and with beach restoration work, both on the mainland and GKI, this repair bill will also be substantial."

Ms Landry said repairs to road networks such as the Scenic Hwy fell under Category B funding, to which the Federal Government contributed 75% of funds. Projects under Category B are capped at $20million.

FAST FIGURES

Livingstone Shire Council has spent $10.6million on disaster recovery activities. It expects to get back from NDRRA and insurance about $7million, leaving a shortfall of about $3.6million.

The latest announcement of $27.75million in Category D funding includes:

$20million for an Infrastructure Betterment Fund to rebuild damaged local government assets to a more resilient standard

$6million for the clean-up and restoration of national parks, beaches and recreational assets

$1million to assist councils with green waste clean-up and removal (previously not claimable); and

$500,000 (approximately) for primary producers/agriculture.



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