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$900K to pave way for flooded roads fix

By Emilie Gramenz, Wednesday October 16, 2013 - 15:30 EDT

The Rockhampton council has welcomed new funds to upgrade flood-affected roads in the region.

The Queensland Government will contribute more than $900,000 for flood mitigation work on 18 roads, including several in Bajool and near the coast, from the Betterment Fund.

Mayor Margaret Strelow says council will pay some of the costs but it never would have been able to fund the works by itself.

"What it delivers for our community is huge bang for buck," she said.

"These are projects that we've been looking at, we've been very slowly working through them, one or two floodways a budget ... but now we've got projects, including a couple of very expensive ones, that we can deliver."

She says 16 of the roads were cut during January's floods, isolating several communities.

"I can hear the people of Upper Ulam cheering already," she said.

"These projects are critically important - in each place it may only be a pocketful of people but it's a small community that just can't get to town, can't get to school, can't get to work and some of them with quite a small amount of water, that makes a difference."

Recovery Minister David Crisafulli says many of the roads should have been flood-proofed years ago.

"The problem is we have seen the same roads replaced time and time again and we have thrown good money after bad," he said.

"What this project does is it allows councils to put forward a submission to spend a little bit more money up-front but in the long run save a bucketload of money for the community and save a hell of a lot of heartache as well. That makes common sense.

"For a generation, local government has been coming to respective state and federal governments and saying, 'this is a stupid project, we don't want to continue to replace things in the same way' but the smart people in Brisbane and Canberra have said, 'no, no, these are the guidelines, this is the way, you've got to stick to it', and if you're so rigid and so bureaucratic, often you get nothing done."


© ABC 2013

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