Australia

Flood reconstruction on track one year on

Source
Posted
Originally published
Origin
View original

A year after the Queensland flood disaster, the man charged with leading the final phase of the recovery effort says reconstruction is on target and will be finished on time.

The good news comes as sombre memorial services are held across the state to reflect on the devastation caused by the once-in-a-lifetime event.

A monument marking the tenacity of the Ipswich community has been unveiled today after two commemorative services were held in the city.

Mayor Paul Pisasale says today is about acknowledging both the resilience of the community and the generosity of those who have helped.

"Twelve months ago we were inundated with the biggest natural disaster in our city's history, so we're unveiling the 'pillar of courage', which reflects not only on the strength of the community during the natural disaster, but how we came together, united with strength and resilience, to show the rest of Australia how good we are," he said.

Behind the scenes though, the mammoth task of repairing roads, bridges and railways goes on.

But only 10 per cent of the billions of dollars set aside for natural disaster recovery has been paid out.

Major General Richard Wilson is leading the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, having taken over from Major General Mick Slater four months ago.

Major General Wilson says the priority now is to build momentum in 2012.

"So that means working to the schedule that's been developed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to deal with those state and federal roads, and then importantly working with the councils across Queensland - all 73 of them - to ensure that we're delivering on their reconstruction priorities," he said.

He says the total damage bill at the moment is estimated to be about $7 billion.

"The money has been flowing, but it's not a simple process. As of now we've got $3.6 billion worth of work in the pipeline," he said.

"When I say in the pipeline, that means either completed, in market or near market.

"That to me is good progress, but there's still a long way to go, and we need to continue with the councils and the State Government agencies to build that momentum as we go into 2012."

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
© ABC