As a result of Queensland's size and proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the Arafura Sea and Coral Sea, natural disasters are a common feature during the summer months.

In the past 10 years alone, the state has faced Tropical Cyclone Ingrid (2005), Larry (2006), Monica (2006) and Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi (2011). QBE Insurance estimated the cost of just Yasi at close to $100 million, the ABC reported in 2011.

Queensland's civil defence systems often respond well to cyclones and other natural disasters like bushfires, but commonly it is the infrastructure that lets the state down. Whether it is levees, stormwater systems or detention basins, some infrastructure struggles to cope.

Government response

It is pleasing to report on a recent announcement from the Queensland government to address these issues. As part of the 2015-16 State Budget, councils across the state will be allocated $63 million to better prepare during natural disasters and build and upgrade new associated infrastructure.

A total of $40 million will be provided though the new Community Resilience Fund, while the other $23 million will come out of the Local Government Grants and Subsidies program.

Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad explained that the government is committed to mitigating "against the impact of natural disasters on their communities and infrastructure".

"The funding will ensure local government are able to protect existing public infrastructure, boost their communities resilience and minimise future expenditure on restoring assets damaged in the wake of a future disaster," she said.

As mentioned above, infrastructure will take a considerable amount of the funding, so councils can bring levees, stormwater systems, detention basins and shelters up to an appropriate standard. The government also suggested that water infrastructure and town centre rejuvenations can be covered by the funding.

Choosing the right support

In the coming months, many Queensland councils will have the funding to undertake these important upgrades. However, the next step will be to employ quality civil engineers who have access to the best materials and the support to get the job done properly.

With summer less than five months away and potentially more cyclones on the horizon, completing these projects to a high standard should be at the top of the agenda. This is where Bluey can be of use.

As an industry leader in the civil engineering sector, our materials and services have played a critical role in many vital infrastructure projects across Australia. For more information, contact our expert team today.

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