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Mayors Message - 27 February 2019

27th February 2019

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements

The recent rain events have once again caused damage to public infrastructure, primarily roads and bridges. As indicated following the March 2018 events, damage sustained to public essential infrastructure qualifies for repair under the Natural Disaster Recovery Relief Arrangements (NDRRA), now called Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).  This Fund is administered by the Federal and State Governments.

To qualify for funding, local governments must submit an application which, among other things must include – evidence of damage; detail of extent of damage; scope of work and costings for repair of damage.

In general, the Fund only allows for repair of damage to the asset’s earlier pre-disaster condition and as part of the process, Council must be able to furnish evidence of pre-condition. This evidence is derived from road inspections undertaken by Council at various intervals throughout the year.  In short, the asset can only be repaired – not improved.

The prohibition on simply repairing like for like, without betterment is a concern to Council, as damage continues to occur at the same place time after time, which would not necessarily be the case if improvements were undertaken.

The process Council must undertake is really no different as to when you, as an individual, lodge an insurance claim.  Delays of up to 12 months in getting repair work authorised may be expected.

Submissions to the Federal Government to allow for a change in policy have been made, and hopefully we will be able to pursue betterment processes into the future.

For more information regarding the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements please visit Council’s website, What is DRFA page? Or contact Council’s DRFA Program Delivery Manager on 4776 7006.

Damage to riverbanks

Extensive damage has been sustained to river banks around the district in consequence of the recent monsoon events.  Agricultural land is being lost to river erosion and environmental habitat damage is being sustained.

Given that this erosion is a major environmental issue facing our district, I have asked the State Government to apply to the Federal Government for Category D funding to assist the Herbert River Improvement Trust under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements guidelines. The request was undertaken through the State Economic Recovery Group.

Current Capital Works Update

Replacement works of the Baillies Road Bridge, at Stone River will begin mid April 2019, weather permitting, with Council awarding the tender for the works to local contractor Keita Services. The bridge, currently a timber bridge will be replaced with concrete culverts and once replaced will have a life expectancy of 100 years.

The bridge replacement will cost $486,877.59 (excl. GST) and will be funded by Council.

A contract to upgrade Bosworths Road has been awarded to Timrith Transport for the total value of $470,897.50 (excl. GST). The upgrade will undertake sealing upgrade works on the road between Warren’s Hill and Forrest Beach Road totalling 2,415m.

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