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Newman says post-flood economy will bounce

By Eric Tlozek, Melinda Howells and staff, Friday February 8, 2013 - 19:35 EDT
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Qld Premier Campbell Newman says the state's economy has not been hit hard by the January floods. - ABC

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says the economic impact of the recent floods will not be as bad as after the 2010-11 disaster.

He says the initial damage bill is $2.4 billion but says the impact on the state's major industries will be less severe.

"The state's economy, I don't think, has been hit hard," Mr Newman said.

"We saw much more disruption to the coal export industry last time, the ports and the rail links, and there have been problems on this occasion but not to the same significance as last time."

The state and federal governments have signed an agreement for billions of dollars worth of flood repairs.

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls says an existing national-partnership agreement has been extended to include the latest natural disasters.

Mr Nicholls says the Commonwealth has agreed to include social infrastructure such as parks and sporting fields.

But he says negotiations are continuing on extra funding to allow infrastructure to be rebuilt at a higher standard than before.

"Over the next two weeks we'll finalise a plan for how we can spend money to improve those sorts of facilities so that they are more immune and more resistant to floods and these types of disasters," he said.

The federal minister responsible for Queensland's flood recovery, Joe Ludwig, toured the flood-hit areas of Bundaberg today.

He says the state and federal governments are discussing a national partnership agreement to fund the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure.

Senator Ludwig says three levels of disaster relief funding have been activated but the Federal Government is yet to discuss long-term projects.

"That allows all the emergent work to get underway now," he said.

"What we then need to work through is once the clean-up been established, once people have assessed the damages, once people have worked through some of the real difficult issues, we can then work through what is the best possible response."

The cost of the summer's floods and bushfires to insurers has surpassed $670 million.

The Insurance Council of Australia says more than 65,000 claims have been made, the majority from Queensland.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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