Queensland will see $60-million spent on new cyclone centres and multipurpose facilities in the next two years.

The United Arab Emirates today announced a donation of $30-million towards the centres.

Candice Anderson reports


The Emirates Minister of State is visiting Queenslander on a trade mission.

She says Queensland’s summer of disasters touched the hearts of the Gulf’s people.

Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State: “What has struck me is the strength and resilience of the Queensland people, suffering a natual diaster akin to Katrina, your advance preparation minimised the tragic loss of life.”

The $30-million donation prompted the State Government to immediately match it, Premier Bligh pledging another $30-million.

The Premier says the money will be used to build ten category five-rated multi-purpose cyclone shelters.

The exact locations are yet to be decided but it’s expected they’ll be built in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.

Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: “We very much welcome this generous gift, it is a gift of friendship from the people of Abu Dhabi to the people of Queensland.”

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was with Anna Bligh to welcome the thirty-strong delegation from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

He says the Australian Government is committed to building links with the Gulf nations.

Kevin Rudd, Foreign Minister: “We are making it very clear to our friends accross the Arab world, right accross the Gulf that we are open for business oppurtunities.”

The delegation will spend the next two days touring cyclone affected areas and promoting trade before flying out on Thursday.

Candice Anderson, QUT News.