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The Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) are a joint funded initiative of the Commonwealth and State Governments to provide disaster relief and recovery payments and infrastructure restoration to help communities recover from the effects of natural disasters.
NDRRA programs are in general of two (2) years duration allowing organisations to properly assess the damage that may have occurred, make submissions, co-ordinate and manage the restoration and repairs and finalise claims through the project acquittal process.
Only disaster events that are activated in accordance with the guidelines are eligible for NDRRA funding.
The Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) is the governing body for the NDRRA program.
Council is responsible for its infrastructure assets, however may seek reimbursement of expenditure for restoration of damaged infrastructure assets through the NDRRA program, subject to eligibility assessments undertaken by the QRA.
The Hinchinbrook Shire was activated for two events in March 2018 – the first a flooding event between 6-10 March and the second a flooding event as a result of Tropical Cyclone Nora between 24-29 March. Council has been in consultation with the QRA in regard to accessing NDRRA funding following these events.
There are a number of eligible activities that Council can make claims for, these are as follows:
CDO are activities undertaken to alleviate personal hardship and distress, addressing the immediate emergency needs of individuals and for the protection of the general public. These operations are undertaken before during and in the immediate aftermath of the eligible events. Some examples of CDO eligible costs are for the establishment of the disaster coordination center and the operation of evacuation centres, medical/food resupply for isolated communities and the evacuation of threatened/affected people.
Emergent works are the activities necessary during the course of a disaster to protect eligible public assets, like roads, or to temporarily restore essential public services and maintain public safety. This could include earthmoving works, rock placing, sandbagging, installation of tarpaulins, erection of warning signs/barriers, pothole patching, removal of silt and debris.
Emergent Works must be undertaken within the first 60 days following an event and are temporary fixes until further substantial works to restore the infrastructure network back to pre-disaster standard.
Restoration works is the restoration or replacement of eligible uninsured essential public assets damaged as a direct result of the eligible disaster to the pre-disaster standard, in accordance with current building and engineering standards. Restoration works must be completed within 2 years from the end of the financial year that the event occurred in.
An NDRRA team has been established to undertake, co-ordinate and manage the required activities in order for Council to claim the benefits it is entitled to under the NDRRA program.
Currently CDO and emergent claims are currently being processed in accordance with the QRA requirements in readiness for claims to be submitted by 30th September.
Residents may have already noticed some repair work carried out such as clearing of debris, cleaning of table drains and minor grading along some roads. These activities were undertaken as emergent works, and a priority of the emergent works program was to restore the road network to a safe and usable standard prior to the start of the cane crushing season.
Subsequent restoration works for essential public assets require submissions to be made to the QRA for approval for NDRRA funding. Once the submissions have been approved, the procurement process for the restoration works will begin. Collection of the data for the submissions to be made to the QRA is expected to be completed by October.
Upon receiving QRA approval, work packages will be assembled and procured for operational delivery. Depending on the QRA approval process Council procurement requirements, restoration works may begin as early as November this year. The timing for commencement of the restoration work heading into the next wet season is not ideal but unfortunately Council is governed by timing and administrative arrangement as set out in the NDRRA guidelines.