SEQ Mayors have called for State and Federal Governments to support South East Queensland councils with the massive recovery and rebuilding task following the January floods.
Rebuilding SEQ with financial assistance from the Federal and State Governments through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) was named a top priority for SEQ councils at today’s Council of Mayors (SEQ) annual strategy workshop.
Speaking at the City Golf Club in Toowoomba today, Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman Councillor Campbell Newman said SEQ councils are still in limbo, not knowing if vital community infrastructure will be covered by the NDRRA.
“It has been over a month since the South East Queensland region was hit by devastating floods and SEQ councils are still waiting on the Federal Government for a decision on what damage will and won’t be funded,” said Cr Newman.
“Several SEQ councils have extensive damage to water and sewerage infrastructure as well as vital public transport infrastructure but we still don’t know if this damage will be covered under the NDRRA.
“We need the Federal Government to sort this issue out now so that SEQ councils can get on with the job of putting our region back together.”
Other top priorities for the Council of Mayors (SEQ) include continued planning reform and the need for Federal and State Government partnerships in the financing and delivery of national priority infrastructure projects.
“We need to make sure that local communities continue to have the democratic opportunity to have their say and be involved in the planning of their communities.
“Local councils are the most appropriate level of government to represent and be accountable to local communities in this planning role.
“SEQ councils are also committed to continuous improvement in development assessment, recognising that there is too much red tape in our planning system, particularly across State Government, and this needs to be appropriately reformed,” said Cr Newman.
The recent flooding has also had significant impacts on the provision of future infrastructure in SEQ.
“SEQ Local Governments have had to reprioritise forecast capital expenditure on infrastructure to rebuild the region. This means a significant funding shortfall for infrastructure needed to support population growth.
“Ways and means need to be found so as not to delay vital infrastructure projects,” said Cr Newman.
The Council of Mayors (SEQ) also reconfirmed a commitment for the Magnificent 7 infrastructure projects, calling on the Federal Government to partner with State and SEQ councils to deliver these critical projects.