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Bureaucratic bungle delays funding

The inundated intersection of Brisbane and East streets in the Ipswich CBD.
The inundated intersection of Brisbane and East streets in the Ipswich CBD.

IPSWICH has missed out on funding to get vital post-flood reconstruction work started – because of a misunderstanding over paperwork.

When Premier Anna Bligh announced a first-round list of 18 councils that would benefit from $220 million to kick-start reconstruction efforts, Ipswich was conspicuous by its absence.

Ms Bligh said the injection of initial reconstruction dollars would mean works could get underway as quickly as possible.

“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority is working with all impacted councils to keep this process rolling,” Ms Bligh said.

She said councils were asked to supply the authority with their damage lists and a signed funding agreement by last Friday.

State Member for Ipswich and Finance Minister Rachel Nolan said Ipswich City Council's funds were not approved in time for yesterday's announcement “because council had not met the requirement to provide a signed funding agreement in time”.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said the first he knew of a cut-off date was when he saw a media release about funding for the 18 councils.

“When I saw we weren't on the list, I panicked,” Cr Pisasale said.

“All it would have taken was a phone call from the reconstruction authority. We've had to go from Goodna to Grandchester to assess damage. I wish there was communication, not press releases. There's too much paperwork and not enough action.”

He said the council lodged its paperwork yesterday and Ipswich would be in the second funding round next week. The council requested $25 million for priority works out of an estimated $120 million for the full repair job.

“I'm happy the authority and Rachel Nolan have said there will be a decision next week,” he said.


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