Getting works completed ahead of the wet season
After being hit by natural disasters every year since 2008-09, Cloncurry Shire Council is becoming increasingly proficient at meeting the challenges of delivering its ongoing restoration programs.
Recent history has shown it has been an unfortunate constant for Cloncurry to be delivering overlapping NDRRA programs. However, out of adversity comes the positive that Council is developing significant project management capacity.
Thanks largely to Council’s proactive approach in managing its program, and also in part to its good working relationship with the Authority, Cloncurry has successfully delivered its approximate $4.2 million 2014 events program ahead of the upcoming 2015-16 wet season, which generally starts in December/January.
The North Queensland wet season has previously caused delays for many councils, including Cloncurry, in their attempts to re-build from previous natural disasters. In many cases, reconstruction work has started but not been completed before being re-damaged all over again when the wet season strikes. It’s a vicious cycle that Cloncurry faced as it attempted to deliver its 2012 and 2013 programs.
Cloncurry Shire Council Director of Works and Environmental Services Peter Fitchat said Council was determined to break the cycle and deliver works ahead of the wet season.
“We were hit by the Central and Western Queensland Flooding and Rainfall event in February 2014 and we made a conscious decision to push to deliver the reconstruction works in a shorter period of time,” Mr Fitchat said. “The QRA also worked hard to facilitate approvals in a timely manner, which supported our goal of delivering works ahead of the pending wet season.”
The damage was spread fairly evenly across the shire but some of the key works in Cloncurry itself were on Alice, Dutton, Palmer and Station streets. While outside of town other key projects included Chatsworth?Phosphate Road as well as repairing floodways on Melbourne-Selwyn Road and Corella Park Road.
“We were able to start the 2014 program in earnest in March this year and it was completed in October,” said Mr Fitchat. “We can’t control the weather up here but we can do our best to control the delivery of our restoration programs and with 2014 finished we can turn our attention to the 2015 program.
“The QRA offered its expert assistance in preparing our 2015 submissions, which is a big help to speed up the process. The 2015 program is estimated at approximately $10 million, which is double our 2014 program but our goal will remain the same and that is complete the works ahead of the next wet season,” he said.