Apr 22, 2024 | Media Releases, Media Releases 2024

It has taken the Albanese Government two years to finally announce funding for flood warning infrastructure projects across Queensland despite the funds being committed and ready for rollout under the former Liberal and Nationals Government.

Shadow Emergency Management Minister, Perin Davey, said there was no excuse for the delay in getting the funds flowing out to flood prone communities.

“Labor in opposition were very vocal about the need to fast-track spending on disaster response and resilience, yet in Government they are happy to take their time to get funds out the door,” Senator Davey said.

“Minister Watt seems to delight in just being able to announce under different headlines, the same bucket of money.

“In March 2022 the then Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie announced $75 million in funding for each of the NSW and Queensland Governments to spend on community recovery and to lessen future disasters.

“It took more than 12 months of Labor Government for any further movement on getting the funding out the door with an announcement in June 2023 that six infrastructure projects across Queensland would get a portion of the funds – including the Flood Warning Infrastructure Network.

“Fast forward almost 12 more months and the money is finally flowing to new rain gauges, cameras, signage and sensors across 23 council areas impacted by the devastating floods in early 2022.
“Imagine if the funds had been rolled out 12 months ago what a difference it may have made to the communities across south-east Queensland hit by flash flooding in December last year.”

Senator Davey said questions remain as to how new river gauges funded under this arrangement will fit into the broader National Flood Warning Infrastructure Network (NFWIN) program being rolled out by the Bureau of Meteorology.

“This program enables councils to install Bureau standard flood gauges which the Bureau will then take ownership of if they are identified as being part of the National network – but work on identifying high priority locations has not even begun yet,” she said.

“The guidelines state councils with NFWIN assets will automatically receive additional funding, yet according to the Bureau’s website consultations to identify assets are only starting this month.
“It is clear that yet again, the Albanese Government is big on announcements and short on details.”