Diverse, strong local economies help communities thrive and steel them against the economic impact of future challenges, including natural disasters. Towns that offer greater employment options and a greater range of services are also more likely to attract people to stay and raise a family.
The consultations and research the Agency undertook when developing After the flood: A strategy for long term recovery demonstrated that a broad economic base which builds on the strong agricultural sector in North and North West Queensland is key to its recovery from the 2019 flood event – and to reducing the economic impact of future shocks.
Agency-commissioned modelling shows that having a broader range of industries would lessen the economic impact should a similar event occur in the region in the future.
A broadened economic base can be achieved by diversifying within the agricultural sector, bringing in new industries and reinventing existing ones, and capitalising on an area’s unique characteristics, also known as taking a ‘place-based approach’.
The Australian Government is supporting communities to broaden their economic base as they continue to recover from the 2019 event through a number of grants, announced in the 2020-21 Budget. Fourteen of the worst affected shires will benefit from five measures totalling $58 million.
We’re working with two Implementation Working Groups – one for the North East and one for the North West – to determine local priorities for support and funding.
And we continue to live in and regularly visit these communities – the Agency has Regional Recovery Officers and other Agency staff based throughout North and North West Queensland.
“Locally led, locally understood and locally implemented” is at the heart of our work and local voices remain central to the implementation of the flood long term strategy and the regions’ ongoing recovery.