DISASTER FUNDING FIGHT
THE Deputy Premier of Queensland is “gutted” for the disaster-affected communities of Whitsunday, Mackay, Isaac and Rockhampton after the Federal Government failed to stump up its share of a $220million recovery package on Friday.
Under Category D disaster relief, the State had made a case for $110million from the Federal Government but their contribution will only be $29million, which Jackie Trad’s office calculates is about 0.006% of the entire Federal Budget.
For the Whitsundays it means there won’t be money for the Whitsunday Coast Airport upgrade, Airlie Beach Revitalisation, or Shute Harbour.
At 5pm Friday Ms Trad was told that the Category D disaster relief package would be $58.6million – its timing she believes was to ensure the issue didn’t generate much attention.
“This is a kick in the guts for those communities,” she said.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen, whose government signed off on the funding, was also “gutted” at the size of the kitty.
But he has pledged to support the Whitsunday and Mackay mayors.
“I want to go down there to Canberra with the mayors and try and salvage the funding for worthy projects that didn’t meet the testing here.”
There is no funding for Shute Harbour, pictured here after the cyclone, in the federal disaster funding.