Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : July 2011 Contents Future Building: Premier, how badly was
Queensland infrastructure damaged after the floods
and Cyclone Yasi? What were the main infrastructure
Premier Bligh: When 99 per cent of your state is
disaster-declared, the damage is going to be extensive.
From Brisbane to Cairns and all points west, we have
sustained serious damage to roads, bridges and
rail, as well as the infrastructure that is at the heart
of all communities – schools, parks, walkways and
In all, the floods and cyclones wiped out 9170
kilometres of the state-owned road network; about
4750 kilometres of rail network was damaged; 387
schools were damaged to some extent; and about 90
state-owned bridges and culverts were washed away.
Future Building: How are the state’s infrastructure
rebuilding efforts progressing? Which assets still need
more repair than others, and how long will it all take?
Premier Bligh: We have got on with the job with
remarkable speed. By early April – 100 days after the
first flooding event – more than 6800 kilometres of
roads had been repaired. More than 4200 kilometres
of flood-affected rail was back on line, including the
Western Rail Line, which was re-opened three months
ahead of schedule.
Only one damaged school is still closed and 55
of the 90 washed-away bridges are back in operation
[at time of press]. That’s been a gargantuan effort from
our work crews. But there is still a long way to go until
we are completely rebuilt, and rebuilt stronger.
Future Building: Your government has allocated
several hundred million dollars to local councils to
begin rebuilding. How important is this initiative, and
what is your assessment of how local councils have
begun their infrastructure repair programs?
Premier Bligh: More than $400 million has now
gone out the door to councils the length and breadth
of the state, and it has been allocated at record
speed. This is joint federal and state money and it has
been possible to distribute it so quickly because the
Queensland Reconstruction Authority has allocated
funding using a new process that cuts red tape and
speeds up payments. That’s a Queensland first.
It means those communities can start rebuilding
immediately, rather than go through lengthy
application processes. That’s a big relief for councils
because they are facing a damage bill that will
ultimately top $2 billion, and the quicker they can
get on with the job, the quicker they can return some
normalcy to their regions.
Volume 2 Number 1
Queensland’s master plan: Bligh says new projects will dovetail with rebuilding priorities
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