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Project Manager : April May 2011
19 www.aipm.com.au Project Manager cover story • T his summer has seen Queensland ravaged by Mother Nature, with at least 36 lives lost, a damage bill in the billions of dollars and much of the state’s vital infrastructure damaged. In announcing the establishment of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Premier Anna Bligh described the task of rebuilding Queensland after the floods as being on “a post-war scale”. Sixty-nine of the state’s 73 local government authorities (LGAs) are under disaster declaration of some kind – these LGAs cover 1,602,802 square kilometres, or about 92.5 per cent, of the state. Of the 56,400 properties affected by floods and Cyclone Yasi, more than 3000 residential properties are non-liveable. “For many people, the healing process is about getting their lives back to normal – returning to their homes, their workplaces, their towns,” Bligh said. “ What’s more, our road and rail networks are the lifeblood of this state and crucial to getting crops and livestock to market and coal to port.” The man managing the enormous task of scoping and coordinating this rebuilding program and creating a roadmap to recovery, former Queensland Coordinator General Graeme Newton, said the immediate challenge is to “get my head around the scope of the task” given that each affected community has very individual needs. “The lead priority for me as CEO is to make sure that I establish a decent team that can actually deal with the various components of the task at hand.” However, with much of the state in need of urgent assistance, Newton stressed the importance of delivering actions even while he’s still putting the Reconstruction Authority together and assessing the challenge. “I use the metaphor of the ship already setting sail while we’re still building parts of the hull and putting up the sails. We can’t afford to wait to have the final brass tacks in there before setting sail,” he explained. “My key ambition is to get $400 million out to local government so they can get moving with the heavy reconstruction work by the middle of the year. “ You can’t just be building your team in a dark room and then say, ‘Right, we’re ready to start.’ You can’t do that. It’s a case of concurrent activity.” ( GRaeme NewtoN is leading the Most high Profile Project in years – the reconstruction of flood-affected areas in Queensland «the lead pRioRity foR me as ceo is to make suRe that i establish a deceNt team that caN actually deal with the vaRious compoNeNts of the task at haNd» photosbybLINKphotoGRAphy
June July 2011