Case studies: Betterment in action

The following case studies and images demonstrate betterment in action:

Gayndah Mundubbera Road, North Burnett Regional Council

  • Gayndah Mundubbera Road is an essential freight and transport link for the North Burnett region, connecting the highly productive agricultural towns of Gayndah and Mundubbera.
  • The road was damaged in 2011 and rebuilt only to be redamaged in 2013.
  • Betterment funding from 2013 was used to increase the resilience of the two-kilometre section of road adjacent to the Burnett River that was washed out, relocating it 11 metres uphill.
  • New stormwater drainage works (including concretelined channels, culverts and scour protection) were also completed, improving functionality of the entire Gayndah Mundubbera Road.
  • The road has since been impacted by seven natural disaster events (one in 2015, one in 2016, two in 2017 and three in 2022) and has remained functional with only minor expenditure required to clean up and remove debris.

Restoration: $6,785,707
Betterment: $1,308,863
Avoided cost over seven events: $47,499,499

Villis Bridge, Scenic Rim Regional Council

  • Villis Bridge is located on Niebling Road and is the only access road for approximately 12 properties.
  • High velocity flooding in the 2013 Severe Tropical Cyclone Oswald event tore the bridge from its foundation and washed it downstream.
  • Niebling Road was closed for up to three weeks following the event and an alternative route through private property was established to provide access to residents, primary producers and freighting services.
  • The betterment project constructed a new, safer concrete Villis Bridge, as well as stream bank protection for 30 metres either side of the bridge increasing its resilience.
  • It has since been impacted by seven natural disaster events (one in 2017, two in 2020, one in 2021 and three in 2022) and has remained undamaged and functional throughout

Restoration: $1,597,077
Betterment: $232,845
Avoided cost over seven events: $11,179,537

Aurukun Access Road, Aurukun Shire Council

  • Aurukun Access Road was a gravel road that provides the only road link to and from the Aurukun community.
  • The road was damaged in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • Betterment funding from 2013 was used to bitumen-seal a 10-kilometre section of the road that was particularly vulnerable to flood damage.
  • It has since withstood the impacts of 10 separate natural disaster events, making it the most frequently impacted completed betterment project to date, remaining functional with only very minor damage.
  • In addition, $1.2 million of betterment funding from 2019 was used to infill scoured sections of the road and stabilise the shoulders and embankments and was subsequently impacted by two events in 2022.

Restoration (two projects): $979,366
Betterment (two projects): $2,299,783
Avoided cost over 10 events: $8,637,947

Various projects Somerset Regional Council

  • Somerset Regional Council has a large number of major and minor waterways crossing through the region which leave it vulnerable to damage.
  • Floods in 2011, 2013 and 2015 caused extensive damage to roads and bridges across the region.
  • Since the first betterment program was established in 2013, council has been approved for a total of 42 betterment projects.
  • A range of upgrades have been made to essential public assets such as culverts, roads, bridges and floodways to better withstand the impacts of natural disasters.
  • Council has been subsequently hit by multiple events, including the 2021–22 events, and the upgraded assets have all remained functional, which has allowed the important road and transport network to re-open once waters recede following events.

Restoration: $6,855,797
Betterment: $9,359,002  
Avoided cost over three events: $13,670,997