2015 in Review

Queensland faced another challenging year in 2015 responding to natural disasters such as cyclones, storms, floods and bushfires ,while also trying to progress the recovery from disasters from previous years.

Across 2015, the State sustained more than $460 million damage from nine separate disaster events. In addition, the Gulf of Carpentaria Monsoonal Trough also hit northwest Queensland in late December 2015 with the number of councils aff ected and extent of damage stilll being determined.

The most devastatinng natural disaster of 2015 was on 20 February when Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia crossed the Queensland coast. It hit Shoalwater Bay, 90km north of Yeppoon, at around 8am on the Friday morning. Over the course of the day, the cyclone moved southward, gradually weakening as it passed over land near Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Biloela and Monto. The system dumped heavy rainfalls across the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast districts before it moved off  the Coast. Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Biloela and surrounding areas bore the brunt of the Cyclone with wind gusts recorded up to 156 km/h in Yeppoon. A total of 19 councils were activated for disaster assistance as a result of the Tropical Cyclone Marcia event.

Including Tropical Cyclone Marcia, a total of 41 local governments across the state were activated for assistance over the course of the year and the Authority was on the frontline in response to these events, along with a range of local and state agencies, to assist councils with their recovery efforts.

The Authority, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), undertook 14,741 damage assessments (including 9,842 rapid damage assessments and 4,899 DARMsys™ assessments) in 2015 in regions impacted by natural disasters including Livingstone, Rockhampton, Banana, North Burnett , Gladstone, Somerset and Western Downs council areas.

For all events, the Authority has been available to assist councils to undertake infrastructure damage assessments to gather damage data to help streamline applications for reconstruction funding.

The Authority also assisted in securing joint State and Federal NDRRA Category D funding of $27.75 million to assist in the recovery following Tropical Cyclone Marcia, including an additonal $20 million Betterment Fund to assist councils impacted by Cyclone Marcia to restore or replace damaged essential public assets to a more disaster resilient standard, $6 million for the clean up and restoration of recreational assets such as Kershaw Gardens in Rockhampton, $1 million to assist local councils with the costs of the extensive green waste clean up and $750,000 for Industry Recovery Officers to provide recovery support to primary producers in the worst affected areas.