Flood resilience commitment some confidence for at-risk businesses, workforces and communities
Queensland businesses and workforces at risk of direct and indirect natural disaster impacts have been afforded some confidence in their future resilience.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) CEO Heidi Cooper welcomed a commitment this week through joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements to support flood impacted councils across Queensland to improve flood resilience through flood studies, risk assessments and other special projects.
It comes as CCIQ called for expanded funding arrangements for preparedness efforts and resilience in regions in the last three state budgets, including the 2023-24 State Budget submission.
“This is a welcome investment in Queensland communities, including the businesses and workforces which make them,” Ms Cooper said.
“We know from our data close to a third of businesses wanted to see investment in community resilience to impacts like energy, natural disaster and climate change.
“Natural disasters can directly and indirectly impact businesses not only in the disaster zone but in the wider community and region.
“Where directly impacted businesses may suffer damage and loss to their premises, equipment or stock, businesses across the state can also see impacts to supply chains, staff availability and accessibility, and consumers’ ability to travel or spend.
“For example, our data shows the 2022 flooding events impacted close to half of businesses we surveyed across the state either directly or indirectly.
“In particular, businesses on the Sunshine Coast, in Brisbane, Gold Coast Wide Bay and South West Queensland told us the disaster impacted their operations which demonstrates just how wide-spread natural disaster effects can be.
“Supporting disaster resilience initiatives in directly affected local government areas will also indirectly support and protect businesses across the state.”
A total of 36 Queensland councils will receive funding for 127 projects.
The funding will allow councils to invest in flood studies, flood risk management plans, and flood warning intelligence systems, so they’re better prepared for the threat of a natural disaster.
Ms Cooper said some Queensland businesses were highly exposed and financially vulnerable to natural disasters.
“Outside direct and indirect impacts, Queensland’s high disaster risk means businesses in some communities struggle to access or afford suitable insurance which further impacts their ability to recover from a natural disaster,” Ms Cooper said.
“Businesses are concerned about the resilience of energy, telecommunications and transport infrastructure, but also the impacts that natural disasters can have on the economy, consumer demand and supply chains.
“While this commitment is welcome, there is still a need for businesses to be supported to invest in mitigation and resilience initiatives and build capacity.
“We’ll be looking to the upcoming State Budget for an investment in resilience, prevention and natural hazard risk mitigation efforts for Queensland businesses to prepare against extreme weather events.”
CCIQ media contact
Media and Communications Manager