Road closures and freight charges add to business woes

Queensland businesses are still struggling from January floods, with road closures, stock shortages and higher freight charges hindering recovery

By Brad Gardner | March 24, 2011

Queensland businesses are still struggling from the fallout of the January floods because of road closures and higher freight charges, Burdekin MP Rosemary Menkens says.

She says ongoing disruptions along the Bruce Highway have led to stock shortages and forced trucking operators to increase charges.

"We are seeing additional freight charges and stock shortages, which have really taken their toll with increasing frustration being levelled at inaction over trouble spots," Menkens says.

She has criticised Premier Anna Bligh for agreeing to the Federal Government’s decision to divert funding for projects on the Bruce Highway to flood recovery efforts.

Menkens says people are frustrated by a lack of roadworks on flood-prone routes because small amounts of rain lead to lengthy delays in some areas.

The Federal Government announced in January it would strip $325 million from six projects to pay for recovery efforts. This includes upgrades to lanes, realigning sections of road and flood immunity projects.

The Government this week passed its one-off flood levy to raise $1.8 billion, which will be spent on rebuilding flood-affected areas.

Those earning between $50,001 and $100,000 will pay a 0.5 percent levy, while those with incomes higher than $100,000 will pay 1 percent. People earning less than $50,000 and those affected by the floods will not pay.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Government will now implement its $5.6 billion reconstruction package. She says the assistance is great news for communities tasked with rebuilding roads, rail lines, bridges and schools.

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