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Action on Dyne rebuilding plea with new govt measures

Ron Dyne and Campbell Newman having a walk around Gympie after the flood.
Ron Dyne and Campbell Newman having a walk around Gympie after the flood. Renee Pilcher

MAYOR Ron Dyne seems to have got his wish on the need for flood restoration to deliver a more resilient infrastructure foundation for the region.

Amendments to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Act, put through state parliament this week, will provide for "measures to improve the resilience of communities for potential disaster events".

Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said "the emphasis is now on building a more resilient Queensland".

The change in attitude was welcomed by Cr Dyne yesterday, particularly as it reflected what he had said as the waters went down.

"It's certainly a great step forward," he said yesterday.

"People get sick of seeing us rebuilding the same infrastructure over again.

"It will mean bigger outlays at first but will save money in the long term.

"I think the feds will come on board because they can see the savings too."

As the receding floodwater revealed a region of smashed public and private infrastructure last month, Cr Dyne said it was time to rebuild Australia properly, rather than engaging in what have been branded futile "Groundhog Day" repairs.

"Next month we were due to finish repairing all the infrastructure damage from 2010/11 and 2012; now we have to start again," a frustrated mayor said at Gympie Region's Channon St emergency headquarters last month.

"This country has to start thinking about whether we just keep patching things or start improving them."

He said repairing infrastructure which had repeatedly failed already was a waste.

Mr Crisafulli told parliament this week the "recovery and reconstruction of affected communities is the immediate priority for all Queenslanders.

"We'll do whatever it takes to deliver that," he said.

The changes will also amend the definition of "disaster event" to include storms, floods and tornadoes from ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

In words warmly welcomed by Cr Dyne, Mr Crisafulli said: "We'll never flood-proof a state as big and diverse as Queensland, but we can do a better job at building more durable infrastructure.

"If an asset has been replaced over and over again, it's time that we looked at building it differently or in a better location.

"It's time to rebuild with a view to the future, not the past.

"I'll be working closely with Queensland mayors and councillors to achieve that."

Topics:  flooding infrastructure mayor ron dyne natural disaster queensland government

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