Flood fix a priority

SCENIC Rim Regional Council has amended its financial budget in an effort to find extra dollars to fix up flood damaged infrastructure.

Mayor John Brent said the region was fortunate to “escape the true tragedy of losing life” but was hit hard financially.

Damage to roads and bridges in the region is in excess of $20 million and Cr Brent said it was necessary to make changes to the 2010/2011 budget to accommodate unexpected costs.

“This mini-budget will alter council’s capital priorities but is about managing the rebuilding process without deteriorating council’s financial position,” Cr Brent said.

“Council can’t add the associated costs of rebuilding and clean-up without taking things out of the budget.”

The $2.8 million Beaudesert Centre Revitalisation Project will be deferred.

“The recent rain event severely affected our road and bridge networks and, as a result, council has had to look how we can fund works that need to be conducted,” he said.

“I have done my homework and I believe what our community needs now is to have these funds injected into our damaged infrastructure to see our region rebuild as quickly as possible, even though some may be long-term projects.”

Cr Brent said the Scenic Rim was recovering well but it could be a few years before the region was “100 per cent back on track”.

Damage to the road network includes pavement saturation, washouts, major erosion, seal loss, gravel loss and loss of drainage structures, as well as the possibility of replacing a few bridges.

“Repair works will be prioritised according to access and safety however, given the magnitude of the event across the south east, works will also be subject to resource availability,” he said.

Chief executive Craig Barke said council had been out in “full force” assessing damage and highlighted the need to reprioritise scheduled works in the 2010/2011 capital works program.

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