Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

North Qld roads still bear scars of Cyclone Oswald

By Jesse Dorsett and Sharnie Kim, Tuesday October 15, 2013 - 12:44 EDT

Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson says good progress is being made to repair roads damaged by Cyclone Oswald earlier this year.

Mr Emerson says almost $500 million in contractors have been awarded to complete about half of the infrastructure recovery.

He says the rest will be put out to tender over coming months.

"We're hoping that over the next couple of months and into next year we'll have the rest of those contracts going out," he said.

"We're putting out at the moment about $200 million worth of contracts each month so we are working very quickly to get these roads back up, get the contracts out."

Mr Emerson says the recovery is a mammoth task.

"We had about 5,000 kilometres of roads impacted by cyclone Oswald and ... the damage bill is about $900 million, so we worked to improve that situation very quickly," he said.

"We've got almost $480 million worth of projects out, underway already."

Meanwhile, the State Emergency Service (SES) in Cairns says it is well prepared for the coming wet season, even though new facilities will not be finished until next year.

Construction of a $3 million headquarters has begun but is expected to take up to six months to complete.

The deputy controller for Cairns, John Lacava says the SES has recruited extra volunteers in preparation for potential cyclones and flooding.

"Currently we're working out of our existing relocatable buildings, however, should there be a major event happening, then we have a plan to move into other operational areas so that we can establish a proper operations centre and work out of that," he said.

Residents urged to prepare for cyclone season

The SES is urging north Queensland residents to begin preparations for the storm season.

The weather bureau is predicting four cyclones will form off the Queensland coast this summer, with one expected to make landfall.

Mr Lacava says it is important for people to take responsibility for minimising any potential damage to their homes.

"That doesn't include only making sure that there are no loose objects around the house but to look at things like that tree that may be hanging over the house and maybe it needs branches pruned," he said.

"We need to make sure that people have their roofs and their gutters cleaned.

"These are all areas where in previous cyclones that's where we see most of the damage come from."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Adelaide weather: SA braces for strongest winds to hit in 50 years

00:24 EST

Storm-force winds forecast to hit South Australia this week will be the strongest the state has had in more than 50 years, the weather bureau has warned.

Wet conditions dampen farm machinery buying in New South Wales

16:49 EST

Heavy rains across New South Wales have farmers reassessing possible machinery purchases despite their still expressing interest in new equipment.

Early northern rainfall

16:12 EST

Australia's tropics are acting like it's already the wet season, even though September is technically the final month of the dry.