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Major expansion to flood mitigation funding



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Media Release

THE HON ALEX SOMLYAY MR Miniittr tor Regional Development, Territories and Local Government

M A J O R E X P A N S I O N T O F L O O D

M I T I G A T I O N F U N D I N G

A re-elected Coalition Government will establish a $10 million programme of flood prevention works in major regional centres - the Regional Centres Flood Mitigation Programme.

Serious flooding in regional areas such as the Hunter, Katherine, Bathurst, East Gippsland, North-East Victoria and North-Western New South Wales over the last 12 months has highlighted the need to ensure that country towns and major regional centres have adequate

protection against flooding.

Flooding in Australia is believed to cost the community at least $300 million a year on average. This figure does not count social and environmental costs, loss of life and threats to public safety.

The Coalition has already committed $10 million to a Rural and Regional Floodplain Management Programme to support integrated floodplain management projects, with a particular focus on flood mitigation works in rural and regional towns.

To complement this initiative, the Coalition will provide an extra $10 million over two years (1998-99 and 1999-2000) for flood prevention works in major regional centres.

These funds will be available for the construction of new infrastructure, such as levees, as well as the repair of existing infrastructure that has been damaged or requires upgrading.

The States and Territories will be expected to match Commonwealth funding under both the Regional Centres Flood Mitigation Programme and the Rural and Regional Floodplain Management Programme, while local government will also be expected to make a contribution.

These initiatives will provide a major boost to regional communities seeking to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of flood damage.

ENDS

29 September 1998

Contact: Graeme Hallett 0419 218 469