Mayor welcomes OK to flood work
NEWS that councils can use their own workers to repair and restore local infrastructure damaged by the 2010 and 2011 floods has been welcomed by Gympie regional mayor Ron Dyne.
"It is good news," councillor Dyne said.
"A lot of the work will still go to contractors simply because of the sheer volume of it," he said. "(But) this will give us a lot more flexibility."
The Local Government Association of Queensland believes that in some cases the cost of reconstruction work will be reduced by as much as 45% if council staff rather than outsourced labour are able to complete the job.
Gympie Regional Council has been aware of this for some time and "been arguing long and loud for that to occur", Cr Dyne said.
"We have done things differently to other councils anyway because we have put our own supervisors on (contracted) road crews," Cr Dyne said.
"We have been using contractors to do the bulk of the work but now we can get a subsidy for using our own workforce.
"We are well down the track of getting our flood repair work done."
The new value-for-money model will only apply to reconstruction of eligible assets damaged in the 2010-11 floods and any of those assets re-damaged in subsequent years.
The Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate will retain oversight for projects under the National Partnership Agreement for Natural Disaster Reconstruction and Recovery, while the Queensland Reconstruction Authority will assess eligibility of projects to achieve value for money.
Queensland Reconstruction Authority chief executive Graeme Newton praised Gympie's flood recovery efforts during a visit to the region last week, saying many other councils were having trouble.
He said Gympie was a leader in action on flood repairs because of prompt, detailed attention to the application process.