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25 July, 2021

North Queenslanders need help to cyclone-proof their homes.

With another cyclone season a few months away, Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has backed calls by hundreds of North Queenslanders for the reintroduction of the Household Resilience Program.

By Peter McCullagh

The Household Resilience Program provided assistance to eligible homeowners in coastal parts of Queenslanders to improve their home’s resilience against cyclones.

The program generated over $60.6 million in work for the construction industry with approximately 95 per cent of work completed by local suppliers.

Mr Dametto is disappointed that neither the State of Federal Government has sought to continue the program.

The program has been hailed as a success with more than 3,100 eligible homeowners taking steps to improve the resilience of their home, however Dametto believes it is essential this program continues.

“I cannot ignore the fact that there have been 664 registrations of interest in the program should further funding become available,” he said.

“North Queensland homeowners are in need of financial support, for those who rely on a pension or low-income earners, projects like a roof replacement are simply out of reach.”

A recent investigation of Tropical Cyclone Debbie conducted by James Cook University (JCU) highlighted the importance of upgrading older buildings to be cyclone-resilient, with dated structures damaged more severely and frequently in comparison to newer buildings.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie was a Category 4 when it crossed the coast east of Airlie Beach in March 2017. TC Debbie slowed to approximately 7 kilometres per hour as it approached the coast, producing 986 mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period along with a peak wind gust of 263 kilometres per hour, recorded on Hamilton Island.

The JCU report considered the damage caused across Airlie Beach, Bowen and Proserpine. With housing build in a coastal marine environment, corrosive damage to fasteners along with aging construction materials represents a high risk for damage in any tropical cyclone event.

Mr Dametto is calling on the Federal and State Governments to recontinue the Household Resilience Program to support and ensure safety and security for Queenslanders in their home during cyclone season.

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