National Bushfire Recovery Fund supports new bridge to Woolooga 

A reinforced concrete bridge will be built at Smith Road, Woolooga, to ensure safe and reliable access to local properties, with Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announcing a $1.4 million grant for the project.

“Smith’s Bridge is the main access point for a number of large cattle properties, and after suffering damage in the 2013 floods, it can’t be used by heavy vehicles,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This limitation poses a significant risk to the community in the case of bushfires, as it may prevent access by emergency services or prevent residents from leaving.

“By replacing the old timber structure with a new reinforced concrete bridge, fire trucks and emergency services will have improved access, residents will be able to leave safely, and it will also improve accessibility for heavy vehicles such as farming trucks – so it’s a win for the local economy as well.”

Mr O’Brien said the $1,440,000 project was one of more than 18 projects in Wide Bay among the 524 projects funded under the $390 million Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program.

“The grants will fund a broad range of recovery and resilience projects in Wide Bay, from social and community wellbeing right through to repairing public infrastructure like bridges, and projects that support local jobs and small businesses,” he said.

“These are priority projects that have been identified by their local communities as offering lasting and tangible benefits, tailored to local needs and conditions, and the quality of the projects funded shows that our ‘locally led’ approach works.

“We understand that recovery from bushfires takes time, and we will continue to support impacted communities through their recovery from the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020.”

Gympie Regional Council Mayor Glen Hartwig said the new reinforced concrete bridge on Smith Road will provide a lot of benefits to Woolooga residents and local farmers, especially during an emergency.

“Having safe road access during an emergency, flood or fire, is critical in our region,” Mayor Hartwig said.

“Many of our farmers have previously used the bridge on Smith Road to move large numbers of cattle from their properties in a very short amount of time and with this upgrade, they will be able to do that once again.

“I would like to thank Llew and the Federal Government for funding this project under The Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, which is a great initiative.”

Gympie Council has previously received funding of $500,000 through the jointly Federal and State funded Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund 2020/2021 for Stage One of the project.

Details of the funded projects are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: https://recovery.gov.au/programs/black-summer-grants