Council fights Commission's responsibility shift

GYMPIE Regional Council will deliver a submission to the Productivity Commission emphasising the significant and unsustainable financial and social impacts that would result from the proposed cost shifting of natural disaster responsibility, as outlined in the commission's draft report.

The council submission will address its main concerns with the draft report, including the proposal of a major cut in recovery funding through Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

The NDRRA is a joint funding initiative of the Commonwealth and State Governments.

"Other issues are the implications of local government having to self-insure infrastructure, including roads and bridges, against natural disasters and that recovery funding would no longer be available to business and farming industries," acting Mayor Tony Perrett said.

"Any changes to the current funding structure would prove a massive financial burden for the Gympie region to shoulder," he said.

The NDRRA funding for emergency repairs and restoration of damaged infrastructure in the Gympie region's most recent flood events was close to $70 million and the council estimates this could be reduced by as much as 50% if the draft report recommendations were adopted.