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Queensland launches £3.7bn damage recovery programme

Queensland this week said it was spending A$5.8bn (£3.7bn) on repairing flood and cyclone damage to buildings and infrastructure.

Emergency repairs

So far only emergency repair work has been carried out. From June, long term reconstruction will take place coordinated by newly established Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA).

The long term programme includes 5.369km of roads, 941km oF railways and 75 projects to remove flood water from mines.

Emergency repairs have so far involved reinstating 3,801km of damaged roads and 3,807km of railways have already been restored. Only one of the 11 ports affected by January’s floods and February’s Cyclone Yasi is still operating at less than full capacity.

All 76 affected wastewater treatment plants have been repaired, and 47 out of 48 affected water treatment plants have been returned to operational capacity.

Out of 54 affected coal mines, 49 have returned to full or partial production. A further three are in working condition but unable to operate due to transport infrastructure damage.

Plan released

The state government this week released its Operation Queenslander recovery and reconstruction plan together with its first monthly progress report. The plan provides a roadmap until the end of 2013, but notes that the reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood and cyclone affected areas will in some cases take years to complete.

“Deliberate” and “methodical” reconstruction works by the specially established Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) will begin in June this year, the plan revealed. From December 2012, QRA will begin to hand over the reconstruction programme to the State Government and local councils.

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