A fast-moving bushfire threatens property at Cobraball Road in November 2019. Picture: Jann Houley
A fast-moving bushfire threatens property at Cobraball Road in November 2019. Picture: Jann Houley

CQ councils receive funding boost to help bushfire recovery

Livingstone Shire Council will receive $500,000 in Local Economic Recovery funding to improve the pathway connection from Cooee Bay Beach to Wreck Point and Lammermoor Beach as part of the Queensland Government’s ongoing bushfire recovery.

Last year’s Cobraball bushfire burnt across the Capricorn Coast, engulfing 12,100 hectares of land including 15 homes, 38 sheds, 8,500 hectares of grazing land and 275 hectares of horticultural production land.

Last week, it was announced more than $11 million had been approved for 12 projects to help with the economic and social recovery in Queensland communities heavily impacted by last year’s bushfires.

Gladstone Regional Council will also receive $185,000 in funding to procure a project officer to enhance community disaster resilience and preparedness and improve council’s current programs and resources.

Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said 12 projects had been approved in the second round of the $36.8 million Local Economic Recovery Program.

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“The Local Economic Recovery Program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and we are pleased to provide this extraordinary assistance,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Queensland bushfires last year had a major impact on many communities throughout Queensland and it was compounded even further by the COVID-19 pandemic so it’s vital we support them through these challenging times.

“The 12 projects have been approved across nine local government areas for a broad range of projects that will inject valuable funding into the regions, while creating jobs, producing enduring benefits and improving future resilience.

“This announcement brings the total projects approved under the program in Queensland to 18, with a total value of over $17 million, with further projects still to be announced.”

Acting Premier and State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Steven Miles said impacted councils had identified priority projects that would contribute to their recovery and longer-term resilience.

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“This funding will be used to create jobs and invest in a vast array of projects that would not have been possible without this vital funding,” Mr Miles said.

“The projects approved in this round include walking trail and fire break upgrades, a FireTech Laboratory in Noosa and upgrading electrical infrastructure to include fire resistant poles.

“Community halls will also be upgraded. These upgrades will help communities connect and socialise, but also mean the halls can be used as places of refuge and recovery hubs during and after a disaster.

“We know from experience that recovery from disasters is most successful when it is locally-led and supported at the state and federal levels and that is exactly what we are doing with this program.

“Queenslanders impacted by last year’s bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic can rest assured we will continue to work with them as they get back on their feet.”