[singlepic id=306 w=100 h=147 float=left]In a major boost for the State’s North, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority will set up a dedicated office in North Queensland to support communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Cabinet made the decision as it met at Airlie Beach.
“Recovering from a cyclone is different to recovering from a flood,” Ms Bligh said.
“The recovery from Yasi in the North is best run from the North.
“We need the support of a dedicated North Queensland office and someone on the ground who knows the region,” she said.
Chief Superintendent Mike Keating will be seconded from the police service to head the dedicated office.
Mike Keating’s police experience includes more than 20 years in North Queensland working in communities such as Cairns, Innisfail, Cardwell, Tully and Townsville.
His honours include the Queensland Police Service Medal with 30 Year Clasp and the National Medal.
Mike Keating will be the director of cyclone recovery reporting to the CEO of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Graeme Newton.
Major General Mick Slater will chair the Authority, which will be established under special legislation to be introduced when Parliament resumes on the 15th of February.
The Premier said the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, tasked with rebuilding and reconnecting the more than 60 communities affected by the floods, would now include North Queensland in its mammoth reconstruction task.
“Tropical Cyclone Yasi is the most devastating cyclone in our State’s history wiping out hundreds of homes.
“While we are slowly getting back on our feet in Southern and Central Queensland, we now need to renew our recovery efforts in the devastated North.
The Premier said virtually no part of the State had been left untouched by the destructive weather in the past month.
“The task to rebuild our devastated State will be colossal.
“The Authority will work specifically with local governments and communities in the North to ensure we can get the recovery and rebuilding process underway as quickly as possible.
The Premier said Queensland had been battered and bruised by the devastating events since Christmas.
“But if we have learnt anything it is that our spirit will not be broken.”