Yasi damage tops $800 million

Road and transport infrastructure copped the worst of Cyclone Yasi, with the damage bill released today by Queensland Treasury

Yasi damage tops $800 million
Yasi damage tops $800 million

February 16, 2011

The damage bill from Cyclone Yasi is expected to reach $800 million, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser announced to state parliament today.

Fraser says the new costs were on top of the significant damage bill associated with the January flood event.

"Already the floods were estimated to cost around $5 billion – now we can expect further costs of around $800 million for the restoration and recovery effort from Cyclone Yasi," he says.

"Yasi was a Category 5 monster, devastating townships and local communities in Far North Queensland.

"It far exceeds the cumulative damage bill from Cyclones Larry and Monica in 2006 of $480 million."

Mr Fraser says the majority of the damage is to the road and transport network.

"Being a major natural disaster, the costs borne for this disaster will be met through the long-standing state and federal Natural Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangements (NDRRA)."

Fraser says this means Queensland will be liable for 25 percent, or $200 million, of the total costs and the Commonwealth will be responsible for the other 75 percent.

"This brings the state's total cost estimate to $1.45 billion.

"The state has already said that the expected proceeds of the lease of Abbot Point Coal Terminal, expected to exceed $1.5 billion, will be set aside to cover the costs of the natural disasters."

Fraser says he also expects Queensland’s economic growth will be impacted.

"Yasi tore through many agricultural areas, namely sugar and banana fields," he says.

"The floods already turned our growth estimate for 2010-11 of 3.75 percent to 1.25 percent."

He says Queensland Treasury expects this estimate to dip even lower, coming in at around 1 percent this financial year.

"We know we are in for a tough time in the short-term," says Fraser.

"But Treasury estimates a big bounce back in economic growth next year, as the restoration and recovery effort hits full speed."

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