Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Residents Ready for Cyclones; Grant Storm-Proofing CQ Homes

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Residents Ready for Cyclones; Grant Storm-Proofing CQ Homes

Article excerpt

GLENYS and Hugh James, retirees from Frenchville, put off getting their roof to cyclone standard not because they didn't feel it was necessary, but because of the huge cost.

They knew it was something that would eventually cost them money, either by having work done on their roof or by repair costs due to water damage from a cyclone they believed was inevitable.

"After (Cyclone) Marcia, it was pretty obvious that it needed doing," Hugh said.

"It's just such a big expense that you keep on putting it off."

It wasn't until the State Government's housing resilience program made it affordable did they consult a contractor to get the job done.

The program is now closed to applications but 130 local home owners jumped on the grants to get their homes cyclone-ready.

Adam Wehmeier, who co-owns Alline Roofing with his brother Clint, said while getting a roof done could be expensive, the cost pales in comparison to the water damage he's seen from cyclones during his time in the trade.

"The method we use ultimately strengthens the house and ensures if we do get severe storms or cyclones, minimal damage occurs," he said.

"It keeps risk of weather damage, and sometimes insurance, down."

The local contractor said during the course of the incentive program he had seen an increase in business, driven by those cashing in on the grants.

As the case of the Jameses suggests, Mr Wehmeier said a roof upgrade was something people were likely to put off but the program gave people the nudge they needed to get the job done.

"People simply can't afford it," he said.

"It's a large expense and money is tight these days."

Reflecting on his own experiences in the trade, Mr Wehmeier said he believed the cost difference between getting a roof cyclone-ready and doing repairs after a severe weather incident was "many, many thousands". …

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