Resilience funding in Queensland has either dropped by 75 per cent since the Palaszczuk government was elected, or increased by more than 91pc, depending on numbers quoted.
Statistics are muddying the waters of the betterment funding debate brought on in the wake of Deputy Premier Steven Miles' claim in March that the government had shown how rebuilding infrastructure to a more resilient standard saved the public money and minimised the impacts of future disasters.
He said that since 2013, more than 520 projects valued at over $263 million across 70 local government areas had been approved.
The LNP's disaster recovery spokesperson, Ann Leahy, speaking in Burketown in early April, said those figures showed the state government had failed to protect rural and regional Queensland from natural disasters.
She said they showed that since the Palaszczuk government's election in 2015, $23 million had been invested each year, compared to the $80m allocated and spent by the Newman government, equivalent to a 75 per cent cut in Queensland Betterment Fund money since 2015.
A government spokesperson responded that between 2015 and 2023, an amount of $352 million had been allocated to the Queensland Betterment Fund, in addition to the $80 million put into the fund when it was first established in 2013.
"Since the first Betterment Fund was established, more than 520 projects across 70 local government areas in Queensland have been approved, helping create stronger, more resilient Queensland communities," they said.
A raft of funding allocations were listed, including $80m for Cyclone Oswald recovery in 2013, $20m in 2015 (Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia), $42m in 2017 (Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie), $100m in 2019 (NQ monsoon floods), $20m in 2021 (all LGAs activated through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements), $150m in 2022 (SEQ floods), and $20m in 2022 for statewide allocation.
Ms Leahy responded that deputy Premier Steven Miles had conflated state and federal funding and used a figure of $263m, not $352m, when he claimed that 10 years of betterment funding had brought best value for Queensland.
Taking out the $80m spent by the LNP government in 2013, Ms Leahy said the figure quoted by Mr Miles meant the total amount spent by the Palaszczuk government was $183 million.
"Over eight years, that is $23m - $11.5m from state and $11.5m from federal per year," she said.
"It's up to the Queensland government through the Queensland Recovery Agency to drive the delivery of betterment projects across the state - a 75pc cut is not good enough."
She questioned the increase in funding once the opposition started asking questions about the level of funding, and said the government needed to explain why its media release differed from the background information provided.
Adding yet more figures to the pot, the government spokesperson added a number of programs administered by QRA since 2016, in addition to betterment funding, that could be said to increase the resilience of Queensland communities.
All up, the total of resilience program funding disbursed between 2016 and 2023 amounted to $874.1m, they said.
But that wasn't all - adding that $874.1m to the claimed $352m of betterment funding resulted in a grand total of $1.226b or an average of $153m spent a year - a 91.25pc increase on the $80m invested in 2013.
"Not only has the Queensland Betterment Fund achieved substantial cost savings through more resilient infrastructure, it has also improved the lives of those living in impacted communities," the spokesperson said.
"The roads, bridges and other infrastructure built back to a more resilient standard are able to withstand future weather events and return to functionality much sooner in the immediate aftermath of a disaster."
They concluded by saying the situation in flood-affected areas in the gulf will continue to be monitored and further support would be provided if needed.
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