Image: Burke Shire Council (Facebook)
A group of delegates from Burke Shire Council are in Brisbane this week requesting stronger resilience infrastructure in far north-west Queensland following severe flooding in the region.
The 2023 record floods saw Burketown evacuated and the road network cut off for months, with essential goods being flown in by helicopter, after the local airstrip flooded and planes couldn’t land.
The nearby Aboriginal community of Doomadgee is still cut off, with water over the road, rough surfaces, and access only possible via high clearance vehicles.
Burketown Mayor Ernie Camp, Deputy Mayor Tonya Murray, and CEO Daniel McKinlay from Burke Shire Council are meeting with QLD government officials to discuss recovery and vital flood funding, after a successful delegation to Canberra in March where the group met with the prime minister, the opposition leader, and ministers.
Mayor Camp says spending $75 million to raise bridges and crossings at the Nicholson and Gregory Rivers would reduce isolation time to weeks, not months.
“We are asking for the State Government’s support to designate the ‘Gulf Savannah Way’ highway between Normanton and Borroloola as ‘Highway One’. Eventually we would like to see Highway One continue to Broome and ultimately, provide a loop around Australia.
“We need the State and Federal governments to help us with funding, as we have a very small rate base with just over 220 rate payers,” said Mayor Camp.
Listen to Burketown Mayor Ernie Camp’s interview here: