LISTEN: CQ flood recovery money in question
LIVINGSTONE and Rockhampton councils may have spent $36.6 million since 2011 on flood-related reconstruction works but the thought of having Federal Government funding support slashed has Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig concerned.
While the State Government had already repaid the money to local councils, Mr Ludwig said a potential move to reverse funding support for natural disaster recovery under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement (NDRRA) would put significant pressure on Queensland councils.
The current arrangements see the Commonwealth fund up to 75% of the money and the state 25%.
"Last year there was a suggestion that the Federal Government may look to change the arrangements for all local governments, not just Queensland, but nationally," he said.
"There was concern from local government they were looking to reverse (the funding arrangements).
"Given that Queensland tends to have greater exposure to natural disasters, in particular cyclones but they're not the only ones, that it is probably of greater concern in some instances for Queensland, given the size of our state with our relatively low population base.
"It could put significant (costs on the state)."
Mr Ludwig said it was a battle local councils had been fighting for "well over 12 months" but to date, the Federal Government was yet to provide any certainty.
He said the upcoming July federal election meant councils and ratepayers were looking to Canberra for support.
"The LGAQ and everybody have been saying the same thing - we would like some certainty," he said.
"This is an ongoing issue, it's been ongoing for more than 12 months (for) everybody in local government and across the state and I believe it would be supported at a national level that the current arrangements that have been in place and stood us all in good stead remain there so the local and state governments have certainty of those arrangements."
The Local Government Association of Queensland and the State Government are pushing the Coalition and the ALP to reverse motions to redirect funds in the NDRRA Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement.
"The LGAQ have out a number of things to both the current government and to the opposition who are looking to take government to come out and give us certainty of what their policies will be in the foreseeable term and foreseeable future," Mr Ludwig said.
"Livingstone absolutely backs the Local Government Association of Queensland's position, every local government and every rate payer needs certainty and we need (government and the opposition) to come back and take a bi-partisan position that they will not be altering those arrangements that have served the nation well in time of disaster."