Lockyer Valley recovery projects taking flight
The Lockyer Valley in Queensland experienced substantial flooding in 2011. Alongside the personal and emotional toll, a number of issues and challenges emerged as recovery began.
The Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC) identified the following priorities:
- Connecting people across the region
- Sustainable water solution
- Accommodation for the backpackers and transient workers
- Emergency helipad, given the critical role helicopters played in flood rescues
- Accommodation systems and structures for those unable to rebuild
- Leisure facilities to bring people back together, as part of the recovery
- Weed eradication, to preserve grazing and farming land
- Building the resilience and capabilities of the local community.
With much of the community – residents, businesses and farmers severely impacted from the floods the capacity to raise funds for community projects was difficult.
The LVRC established an FRRR Not-for-Profit Fundraising Account (previously known as an FRRR Regional Donation Account), which enabled the Council to raise funds through donations from businesses, corporates and individuals. With FRRR ‘lending’ our DGR status, these donations became tax deductible for the donors. In addition, the Council was able to also access grants available only to charitable institutions, thereby providing far more funding for the recovery. In total, they raised $450,000.
The LVRC has already invested significantly in community infrastructure and the regeneration of land following the 2011 flood events. Two community hubs have been constructed and the weed eradication project is well underway, with the initial mapping, inspection and treatment already carried out.
Three weed spray trailers have been purchased and community members have been trained in their use and in weed identification. The next step is to offer subsidised herbicide for landowners and continue with an extensive community educational program.
The helipad is also well underway, with a site identified and planning issues resolved, and initial earthworks underway. The design has been completed and a license agreement develolped with the land owner.
In addition, a wide variety of programs have been undertaken to build community resilience, and scoping and investigation work is underway on the other priorities.
So with a lot of local effort and a little help from FRRR’s DGR status via a Not-for-Profit Fundraising Account, the Lockyer Valley is well on the way to recovery.