When natural disasters and extreme weather events cause damage to property, roads and infrastructure, it can take years to for a community to recover and repair itself.
However, just one year on from ex-cyclone Oswald, 94 per cent of damaged roads have been returned to a useable state in Queensland communities.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said government efforts to fast-track recovery had led to this impressive result.
“Through better planning we’ve fixed the situation we had with previous disasters where it was taking several years to repair our roads and transport infrastructure,” Mr Emerson said in a January 29 media release.
More than $845 million worth of recovery and reconstruction works have been completed or are out to tender so far.
These efforts to improve infrastructure and fast-track repairs is encouraging for those seeking civil works apprenticeships in Queensland, as increased recovery activity should require additional skilled workers.
The ex-cyclone Oswald recovery program included projects to repair and improve Double Creek Bridge on the Dawson Highway between Gladstone and Biola, as well as pavement and slope repairs on the Tamborine Mountain Road.
“We are on target to meet our goal of having all works arising from the natural disasters in early 2013 completed by the end of this year,” Mr Emerson said.
This rapid turnaround has been largely attributed to the swift response of emergency recovery teams after the cyclone passed.
“No time was wasted getting emergency repairs underway after floodwaters receded one year ago, and we’ve worked with industry to ensure that momentum has continued,” said Mr Emerson.
The state and federal government have contributed almost $900 million in total transport recovery and reconstruction works to repair damage left by ex-cyclone Oswald.
“The results are evident, with key projects already completed or underway enabling businesses, tourism, agriculture and the resource industries to reconnect and rebuild,” Mr Emerson said.
Currently, preparations are being made in Queensland to brace the region against a large weather event forming in the Coral Sea.
When this storm makes landfall, it is expected to cause significant damage to infrastructure across North Queensland.
Localised flooding has already been reported in Townsville, and further high tides are forecast to affect Cooktown, Mackay and Sarina.
This event may cause an increased demand for those planning to complete civil works apprenticeships in Townsville, in order to carry out recovery and repair works on roads and infrastructure in the area.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator