Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Jeff Seeney

New agreement helps stretch reconstruction dollar further

The Queensland Government has secured a new cost-saving agreement with the Federal Government to give councils the option to use their own workforce to complete disaster reconstruction projects.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority drove negotiations with the Commonwealth to reach the agreement, which is expected to deliver better value-for-money as well as more timely and fit-for-purpose outcomes for local communities.

Mr Seeney said the new agreement would save councils considerable sums of money and was a critical step forward to ensure value-for-money was achieved in the use of taxpayer funds for reconstruction projects.

“One of my first actions as Minister responsible for reconstruction was to write to the Commonwealth and support the Reconstruction Authority’s proposal to clear the way for councils to use their own labour to rebuild their communities ,” Mr Seeney said.

“Many councils felt disadvantaged under existing National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) guidelines, which did not allow them to claim the cost of using their internal workforce, even in instances where it was the cheaper and faster option.

“This new agreement is clearly a common-sense approach that will lead to massive savings.”

Mr Seeney said Councils would need to demonstrate they could deliver projects more efficiently and cost effectively using their own workers and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority would use its value-for-money checking process to ensure the savings were being delivered.

“Getting this proposal up has been a team effort and I would like to acknowledge the close involvement and assistance of the Local Government Association of Queensland and also the numerous local councils who wrote to the Commonwealth outlining their individual circumstances and supporting the Queensland Govern ment’s proposal,” he said.

“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority will now work with the Commonwealth to finalise the details of the new arrangements so councils can incorporate them in their reconstruction planning as quickly as possible.”

The $12 billion program of works to rebuild Queensland is progressing, with more than $3.5 billion of NDRRA reconstruction works delivered and a further $3 billion-plus underway.

The NDRRA package is funded jointly by the Federal Government (75%) and the State Government (25%).