The clean-up cost for Cyclone Ita in the Douglas Shire is expected to reach an estimated $20 million.
Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said Council had completed an initial assessment of the damage to Council infrastructure caused by Cyclone Ita with experts from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, which confirmed damage to a significant number of roads, as well as bridges and other assets.
“While on the whole the Douglas Shire can be considered lucky we were not severely impacted by a Category 5 cyclone, the damage caused by Cyclone Ita was still substantial,” Mayor Leu said.
“Roads and bridges in Upper Daintree and north of the Daintree River bore the brunt of Cyclone Ita with significant repairs required as a result.
“Some bridges also needed fixing as does the pontoon at Daintree Village which was washed away in the flooding, while the Daintree ferry channel required dredging works to make it operational again.
“It was a great effort by Council staff to first of all clean up after Cyclone Ita so promptly and efficiently and then to work with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to gather all the evidence of the damage caused.”
Council is required to fund the initial $96,000 in repair costs to public assets as a result of Cyclone Ita, with the remainder of the repair bill to be met through Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
NDRRA are a jointly funded initiative of the Commonwealth and State Governments to provide disaster relief and recovery payments and infrastructure restoration to help communities recover from the effects of natural disasters. The initial assessment by Council and the QRA is still awaiting confirmation and approval. On approval of submissions, Council has two years to complete the repairs.