Ipswich flood repair cost estimated at $30m

FAMILIAR SIGHT: The fire brigade helps with the flood clean-up at Colleges Crossing.
FAMILIAR SIGHT: The fire brigade helps with the flood clean-up at Colleges Crossing. Sarah Harvey

THE damage bill from last week's floods is expected to reach $30 million with Ipswich City Council putting their initial estimates to the state and federal governments.

That is significantly less than the $100 million damage bill Mayor Paul Pisasale and his council faced after the 2011 floods.

Cr Pisasale said the figure was an early estimate and could be revised down once the council officers completed their assessments.

The cost to repair Colleges Crossing would become clear as water receded after releases from Wivenhoe Dam had finished.

Cr Pisasale said River Heart and One Mile Bridge fell into the same category as Colleges Crossing.

"We have given an estimate to the state and federal governments," he said.

A more detailed study of all bridges within the council's boundaries would be carried out before the costings were finalised.

Regardless of cost, he said, Colleges Crossing would be rebuilt.

"We can't afford not to fix it. The next flood may not be for 30 years

"At the end of the day I just want people to know natural disasters will come and go, but this city will be here forever.

At the end of the day I just want people to know natural disasters will come and go, but this city will be here forever.

"We'll look at the Colleges Crossing damage, but we will rebuild it. The number of people that use it from both sides of the river during summer means it is too important for us."

Cr Pisasale said a $30 million damage bill was a significant amount of council's budget.

Ipswich MP Ian Berry said Ipswich the Federal Labor Government needed to break red tape and allow flood-affected bridges to be built to new specifications and still receive funding.

"Premier Campbell Newman has assured me that he and the whole State Government are working as fast as possible to try and tick off all the requirements the Federal Government imposes in accessing disaster recovery funding for rebuilding community infrastructure," he said.

"What the Ipswich City Council and all other disaster-affected local governments need is real money and now, not more Federal Government red tape and paperwork."

To the community's relief, the floodwaters fell 5m shy of the devastating 2011 flood peak, which damaged hundreds of homes and left millions of dollars in damage.



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