Severe weather costs state $4.5 billion

LAST week’s flooding and storms has cost the state billions of dollars with the State Government saying the cost has highlighted the importance of building more resilience into infrastructure.

“Right now, our immediate focus is on helping those families and businesses hit by this disaster to get back on their feet,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said.

“But at the same time, we are beginning the planning work that will create stronger, safer, more resilient communities.

“It’s important to note that these estimates of the cost of this severe weather event are preliminary, and likely to rise as more damage assessments are conducted.”

Economic impacts include up to $2.5 billion on recovery programs and support measures, $1 billion in reduced economic activity and nearly $1 billion in insurance claims.

Included in the cost is $560 million allocated for small business, not-for-profit, primary producers, local governments and sporting and community organisation facilities.

There was also $100 million in hardship payments from more than 11,500 applications.

Mr Dick said initial indications were that the cost of the SEQ rain bomb will be lower than previous events that had a greater impact on regional Queensland.

“For anyone dumping treasured possessions or hosing the mud out of their home, comparisons to other floods don’t mean much,” the Treasurer said. “But the impact on our budget and economy does affect how quickly we can recover from natural disasters.