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Government continues to help Queensland Communities

6 Feb 2019 – Key Media Release

The Australian Government is providing a comprehensive package of assistance to help families affected by the devastating flooding in and around Townsville and across northern Queensland.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator Linda Reynolds said the broad range of assistance was designed to help people deal with the immediate impacts of the unprecedented flooding as well as providing relief for those most in need.

Relief and recovery assistance is available to individuals and families under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). This includes:

  • Help for immediate emergency needs

Emergency Hardship Assistance payments are available to support people directly impacted by a disaster to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.

The Emergency Hardship Assistance Grant provides $180 per person, up to $900 for a family of 5 or more. Further information about this assistance measure is available in the attached factsheet.

This assistance is administered by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors. Information on eligible areas can be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/queensland-disasters/fnq-monsoonal-trough.

Enquires can be made via the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

  • Help for loss of essential services

Essential Services Hardship Assistance Grants are available to support people directly impacted by a disaster to meet their immediate needs where they have experienced loss of one or more essential services for more than 5 days, and are suffering hardship.

The Essential Services Hardship Assistance Grant provides $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of 5 or more.

Further information about this assistance measure is available in the attached factsheet.

This assistance is administered by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

Information on eligible areas can be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/queensland-disasters/fnq-monsoonal-trough. Enquires can be made via the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

  • Help for loss of essential household contents

Essential Household Contents Grants are available to help people with replacing or repairing essential household contents, such as beds, linen and white goods that have been lost or damaged in a disaster.

This grant provides up to $1,765 for single adults and up to $5,300 for couples/families. Further information about this assistance measure is available in the attached factsheet.

This assistance is administered by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

Information on eligible areas can be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/queensland-disasters/fnq-monsoonal-trough.

Enquires can be made via the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

  • Help for damage to housing

Structural Assistance Grants provide a one-off payment to help eligible owners of a principal place of residence with a contribution towards repairs to their residence to make it secure, safe and habitable.

This grant provides up to $10,995 for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples/families. Further information about this assistance measure is available in the attached factsheet.

This assistance is administered by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

Information on eligible areas can be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/queensland-disasters/fnq-monsoonal-trough.

Enquires can be made via the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

  • Help to safely reconnect essential services

The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme provides eligible owners of a principal place of residence with financial assistance to reconnect essential services that were damaged by a disaster.

Grants of up to $5000 are available. Further information about this assistance measure is available in the attached factsheet.

This assistance is administered by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.

Information on eligible areas can be found at https://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/queensland-disasters/fnq-monsoonal-trough.

Enquires can be made via the Queensland Government’s Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

In addition to the DRFA assistance measures above the Australian Government has activated further recovery measures recognising the severity of these floods. These include:

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP)

The AGDRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children who have been adversely affected by the floods.

It is funded by the Australian Government.

Information on the DRP, including how to claim, is available at: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/far-north-queensland-floods-february-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment.

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA)

The DRA is a short-term income support payment to assist individuals who can demonstrate their income has been affected as a direct result of the floods.

It is funded by the Australian Government.

Further information on the DRA, including how to claim, is available at: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/far-north-queensland-floods-february-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance.

  • The AGDRP and DRA are available in the five (5) local government areas (LGAs) of Burdekin, Cook, Douglas, Townsville and Wujal Wujal.
  • The AGDRP and DRA are be administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS). Staff from DHS have been deployed to evacuation and recovery centres to assist people with their claim. Claims for DRP and DRA can also be made by calling 180 22 66 or visiting a DHS service centre. The hotline will be open business hours 8 am to 5 pm.

“The financial assistance available for individuals and families to help them recover from this devastating event is wide-ranging and comprehensive,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.

“Most importantly, it is being targeted to those most in need – those suffering personal hardship and in need of extra support.”

“As damage assessments begin and a clearer picture of the impact emerges, the Australian Government will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to ensure that flood affected communities receive the support they need to help them recover.”