The State Government has opened a Small Business Recovery Centre in the Townsville CBD to help support those affected by the region’s extensive flooding.
Employment and Small Business Minister Shannon Fentiman said the new centre offered a one-stop-shop where local small business operators could access advice and services from a range of organisations ready and willing to lend a hand.
By partnering with the local small business support network and through promoting a ‘Go Local’ approach, the centre would enable small businesses to take stock, get the support needed and get back to business, she said.
The centre is located at 143 Walker St (corner Stanley and Walker streets), Townsville and is open every day from 9am to 5pm. (Call 0459 873 781 to make an appointment, or just drop in.
Small business owners impacted by flooding can also call the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1800 623 946 or visit www.business.qld.gov.au.for assistance and information on the concessional loans available.
Online register of contractors
Meanwhile more than 400 contractors have joined an online register of qualified contractors ready to help rebuild homes in North Queensland.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the North Queensland Flood Register – available on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission website – had established a growing list building contractors, asbestos removalists, gas and petroleum contractors, and electricians who are ready to assist.
He said some 50 per cent of registrations to date had indicated they were from the North Queensland region.
“Importantly, every contractor on the Register has been vetted to ensure they hold appropriate licenses for the job,” he said.
“I understand that people are wanting to get their homes repaired as soon as possible and I am doing everything I can to stamp out unlicensed operators who could put your home at risk.”
The repairs could be in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and that money should stay in the North Queensland economy, he said.
“My message to home and business owners is use this register to easily find local, qualified and licensed contractors to carry out their repair work,” he said.
“We also have to make it clear to the insurance industry that we expect them to choose locals off this list first.”
You can link to the North Queensland Flood Register at www.qbcc.qld.gov.au.
Damage count mounts
Townsville City Council said by Monday afternoon 1879 Townsville properties had been identified with minor damage, 1009 with moderate damage and 133 with severe damage.
Townsville Local Disaster Management chair Mayor Jenny Hill said data showed the flood levels in the Ross River during the event this month were greater than a 1-in-500-year event.
“The data for the floods is still being analysed but we do know that some areas of the Ross River Dam catchment received rainfall totals that exceeded a 1-in-2000year rainfall event,” Cr Hill said.
Ergon Energy said yesterday its crews had restored power to all electrically safe properties in the Townsville region.
At the height of the disaster floodwaters cut power to more than 17,000 homes and businesses.
Ergon said the flooding not only severely damaged major components of the city’s power network, it filled vital electrical equipment in affected suburbs with mud and silt, all of which had to be cleaned before being reenergised.