2 July, 2024

Cyclone bill rises to $22m

CYCLONE Jasper and subsequent flooding costs have totalled $21.6 million in the Douglas Shire and are rising.

By Nick Dalton

Water pipe upgrades at Crees Rd, Craiglie.
Water pipe upgrades at Crees Rd, Craiglie.

A council report said the final impact for 2023-24 had yet to be determined.

Mayor Lisa Scomazzon told Tuesday’s council meeting  that the public could easily see what work had been done and what needed to be done and it had been “very well received”.

Cr Abigal Noli said it was “a huge amount spent so far”.

“But we have a long way to go. A lot has been happening in the last six to seven months,” she said. 

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has forwarded an advance of $25.8m.

The report said the council had spent about $12.5m on emergent road repairs and about $3.42m on water repairs. 

Most had been spent on supplies and services in the shire ($10.6m) and $5m in Cairns.

The highest amounts had been on machinery hire ($4.8m), Degarra clean-up ($1.2m), assessment of assets ($2.14m) and traffic control ($1.44m).

In the meantime, the council has approved an application seeking permission from the state government to draw 2000 ML of water from the Mossman catchment as an alternate source of water to feed the Mossman River intake.

“The water allocation within this catchment is the source water for the Mossman River intake, a critical project to establish a more reliable and resilient water source in response to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Jasper,” a council report said.

“This project forms part of the water supply security strategy and implementation plan.

“The water licence is on the critical path for the Mossman River intake. Without this, the alternative intake project cannot proceed as the council does not have authority to take this water for the town water supply.” 

Cr Damian Meadows told the council meeting that it was critical to “secure long-term water for the shire for the next 50 years”.


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