Eleven bridges back in action after Tropical Cyclone Oswald

Media Release

WT167/2015

09 June 2015

Joint release with:

Jackie Trad

Deputy Premier Queensland Minister for Transport
Queensland Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

Barry O'Sullivan

Senator for Queensland

Recovery efforts from the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Oswald in 2013 are continuing, with the opening of 11 bridges in the Somerset region repaired or replaced as part of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said rebuilding regional infrastructure following disasters is essential, with the Australian Government funding up to 75 per cent of the total damage bill from disaster events.

“The region's residents remember the havoc caused by the flooding associated with the cyclone, and the opening of these 11 bridges will help bring some normality back to people's lives,” Mr Truss said.

“Transport links are at the core of a functioning community, whether that be dropping the kids off at school or moving locally produced goods to domestic and international markets.

“The Australian Government has invested around $7.5 billion in reconstruction and recovery projects related to the natural disasters which occurred in Queensland between 2010 and 2013, ensuring affected communities can get back on their feet as fast as possible.”

Senator for Queensland Barry O'Sullivan, who visited two of the 11 bridges today during the multi-bridge opening event, said the works had been partly funded by the $80 million Queensland Betterment Fund component of the NDRRA.

“The Queensland Betterment Fund is jointly funded by the Federal and State governments, and helps reduce the impact of future disasters by flood proofing roads, bridges and other similar assets,” Senator O'Sullivan said.

“The Toogoolawah Pedestrian Bridge and Kropps Bridge projects were funded under this programme, ensuring they are better able to cope with major weather events in the future.

“This is an important outcome, with the bridges providing a key link to the national road network as well as local infrastructure, including a Telstra transmission tower that is essential for remaining in contact with the rest of the world during a disaster.”

Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the Kropps and Jones Bridges were cleverly designed to ensure they remained open during flood events.

“The key design feature of the 18 metre long Jones Bridge and 25 metre long Kropps Bridge is the absence of a central pier, meaning fast moving debris in a flood is not captured,” Ms Trad said.

“When combined with the improvements to the embankment under the bridge, the local community is less likely to be impacted by flood.

“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has approved more than 230 projects such as this across Queensland, an investment estimated at $175 million and a major boost to the state's transport network.”