30 May 2022
Ipswich City Council has spent more than $4.25 million on flood recovery efforts to-date which has seen the filling of close to 3,000 potholes, the repair and reopening of more than 100 roads and bridges, and urgent works to bring the extensively rain damaged Ipswich Civic Centre back online.
Approximately 100 sporting and recreational facilities were impacted by the initial flood event. Three months on, council has reopened all but eight with the remaining facilities sitting in the hardest hit areas of Ipswich.
Local Disaster Management Group Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the city’s flood recovery was council’s highest priority, but a national shortage of trades, supplies and a secondary flooding event earlier this month was hampering efforts to reopen the remaining eight sporting clubs.
“After the 2011 floods, many of these sporting clubs where back on their fields within weeks. However, the strain of the COVID 19 pandemic is making it harder than ever to secure the assessors, trades and supplies needed to make these urgent repairs,” Mayor Harding said.
“While I know that council isn’t alone in this, it’s being felt right across South East Queensland, this brings little relief for these sporting clubs that have been unable to return to their fields and clubhouses since the floods first hit.
“Council has actively assisted clubs through temporary relocation to alternative locations where needed and restoring field condition so activity can commence as soon as practical.
“Assessors are expected to be on the ground this week and council’s aim is to restore power and repair these facilities as soon as possible. However, we know the road to recovery may take some time in the current conditions,” said Mayor Harding.
The remaining Ipswich City Council sporting facilities impacted by flooding include:
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said one of the challenges facing council was securing qualified professionals in a highly competitive market.
“The full cost of repairing these facilities needs to be determined, and council is working hard to find avenues to fund the repairs,” Cr Fechner said.
“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority, which coordinates disaster recovery at the state level, has confirmed there will be funding available for council to apply for under the disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, however those guidelines are still being finalised.
Councillor Fechner said council was working on an overarching strategy for the recovery of these eight sport club facilities.
“Once those condition and repair assessments have been completed, and funding has been made available, the required long-term repair projects can be prioritised and work carried out.”
Council has also recommenced works on Colleges Crossing and Riverheart Parklands after previous repairs were washed away in this month’s minor flooding. Colleges Crossing is expected to be partially reopened within the next six to twelve months, while clean-up crews will return to Riverheart Parklands next week.
The Lobb Street Bridge at One Mile also required repairs following both flooding events. Council undertook minor repairs to the bridge following the February floods which was then extensively damaged in this month’s rain event. Council crews worked day and night to repair and reopen the bridge within 48 hours.