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Money to repair flood-damaged land in Queensland

Eliza Rogers, Wednesday May 8, 2013 - 14:34 EST
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New government funding will target natural resource management projects to repair flood-damaged soils and water courses. - ABC

Flood-affected farmers in southern Queensland will have a share in an extra $20 million of government funding to fix infrastructure, soils and watercourses.

The money, contributed equally by the state and federal governments, will go to natural resource management projects in the Burnett, Lockyer and Fassifern Valleys, Dawson/Callide Valley region, and the Darling Downs.

State Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps says flood-affected regions need more help to repair the environment.

"The size and magnitude and the severity of the flood event that occurred earlier this year means that there are some projects which are just out of reach for individual landowners to achieve. This project here is about recognition that it's not just the built environment or built infrastructure that's impacted on."

Mr Cripps says a small amount of critical projects in the Wide Bay Burnett have already been approved.

CEO of the Burnett Mary Regional Group, Penny Hall, expects the new funding will meet its $8 million budget to carry out flood debris removal, flood plain management, riverbank repair, and weed and pest control.

The group is currently gathering aerial imagery of 3,000 kilometres of riverbank to prioritise work.

Cane farmer Trevor Garrad, from Electra outside Bundaberg, says the funding will be great as long as it doesn't get "gobbled up with bureaucracy then the bill handed to the farmer".

He wants funding to buy and plant trees for revegetation, and machinery to sweep up debris.

"We've lost our pump site, we've lost the pump, 50 per cent of the riverbank on this side is denuded, trees just totally swept away. A hundred per cent of the other side where there was little vegetation, it slips from the top of the bank to the bottom of the bank."

And in more support for the Wide Bay Burnett, the Queensland Government has announced $300,000 in local government grants to expand the Bundaberg region's flood warning system and complete the first-ever regional flood mitigation study in the North Burnett.

Bundaberg Regional Council is set to receive almost $150,000 to help install five new river height stations.


© ABC 2013

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