A new authority has been set up by the State Government armed with the task of rebuilding and getting Queensland back on its feet after more than three quarters of the State was affected by floods and cyclone damage.
With legislated powers, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority will coordinate the mammoth task of rebuild and recovery.
The Bill proposes a number of amendments to the following Acts in order to support recovery efforts:
- Building Act 1975
- Disaster Management Act 2003
- Land Valuation Act 2010
- Integrity Act 2009
- Public Service Act 2008.
The Authority has established a Board to be overseen by Premier Anna Bligh as Minister for Reconstruction.
Major General Mick Slater will chair the Authority, which will also have a Federal government representative and other reconstruction experts from local and State Government and the private sector. Coordinator General Graham Newton has been seconded as CEO.
The Statutory Authority will manage the task of rebuilding and repairing vital infrastructure in more than 60 flood-affected communities across Queensland as well as implementing a statewide plan for reconnecting communities across the State.
The Authority will have the power to decide which roads, bridges and railways should be repaired immediately, along with deciding whether some places should be rebuilt as before and consulting with communities on possible alternatives.
Liaising with local governments will ensure that all the unique characteristics of each community are factored into the rebuilding process. Coordination between government and non-government organisations will take place to ensure the necessary services are established to help people during the rebuild process.
The Authority has also set up a dedicated office in North Queensland to support communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Yasi.
Chief Superintendent Mike Keating has been seconded from the Queensland Police Service to head the dedicated office and will be the director of cyclone recovery.
The Authority will work specifically with local governments and communities in the North to ensure recovery and rebuilding is underway as quickly as possible.
With virtually no part of the State left untouched by the recent destructive weather, the task of rebuilding is, in the words of the Premier, immense but not impossible.
The dedicated Authority will ensure there are no delays in the recovery process.