NORTH Bundaberg residents will find it easier to escape from rising flood waters with upgrades to two vital evacuation routes through the Queensland and Australian Governments' Natural Disaster Resilience Program to protect communities.
The State and Federal Governments today announced they would contribute $9.7 million towards the $11.2 million cost of improving Mount Perry and Fairymead Roads to give a clear path for locals and emergency services during natural disasters.
"Queensland families have been pushed to the brink in the past few years and we are doing everything we can to not only protect communities but make them stronger," Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli said.
"This investment is just one part of our drive to deliver better infrastructure for Queenslanders.
"Around 5000 North Bundaberg residents had to be evacuated during the 2013 floods in the largest civilian air evacuation in Australia's history.
"If we hadn't acted swiftly at the height of the floods, many lives would have been lost."
Planned work includes raising a section of Mount Perry Road between Walters Street and the North School Hill roundabout, and creating an alternative evacuation route by upgrading Fairymead Road.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said Hinkler Avenue was the critical link between the north and south sides of the river during a flood event.
"These projects will protect human life, reduce the periods of isolation, give better access to emergency services and reduce the need for large scale evacuations by air," Mr Pitt said.
"Today's announcement shows how the State and Federal Governments are working together for the benefit of regional Queensland."
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said it was important for businesses to supply towns.
"When roads are cut off for extended periods, it puts enormous pressure on our businesses and local economies. Today's announcement will help reduce the impact natural disasters have on our communities," Mr O'Dowd said.
Bundaberg MP Jack Dempsey said the funding would reassure the Bundaberg community.
"Having an improved evacuation route and clearer transport route during times of disaster is essential in ensuring effective response and recovery," Mr Dempsey said.
"The people of Bundaberg will be safer as a result of this funding."
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said with the heartache caused by repeated flooding, it was simply common sense to build more flood resilient roads so the community can recover more quickly.
"These are sensible projects that show this is a government serious about delivering big results for locals by building roads and improving what's already in place," Mr Bennett said.