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More assistance for disaster affected communities in Queensland



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THE HON WAYNE SWAN MP

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

TREASURER

THE HON JACK DEMPSEY MP

QUEENSLAND MINISTER FOR POLICE AND COMMUNITY SAFETY

*** JOINT MEDIA RELEASE ***

MORE ASSISTANCE FOR DISASTER AFFECTED COMMUNITIES IN QUEENSLAND

Assistance is being made available for six more disaster-affected communities in Queensland following the devastation of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan and Queensland Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey announced today that additional assistance would be made available to the local government areas of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Southern Downs Toowoomba and Western Downs under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

"The severe weather is having a significant impact on communities across a very large part of Queensland," Mr Swan said.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments are working closely together to make sure impacted communities can get back on their feet as soon as possible.

"There are now six Australian Defence Force Black Hawk helicopters assisting with rescue operations and the ADF is on standby to provide further help as needed.”

Mr Dempsey said that with this announcement there are now forty councils eligible for assistance across Queensland.

“This jointly funded assistance is being made available as quickly as possible to help Queenslanders in need," Mr Dempsey said.

"We will not hesitate to extend NDRRA assistance to other communities if they are impacted."

Mr Swan said the thoughts of all Australians are with those Queenslanders that have been hit hard, particularly those that have been impacted on top of the devastation two short years ago.

“No matter what mother-nature throws at us, Queenslanders always band together to look after one another," Mr Swan said.

The assistance now available in these six additional areas includes personal hardship and distress payments for food, clothing, accommodation and medical supplies of $180 for

individuals and $900 for couples/families. The scheme also includes essential household contents grants and structural assistance grants. These payments are income and asset tested.

In addition, the Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme has been activated in these areas and includes maximum grants of $5,000 per household comprising of safety inspections for reconnection of essential services and replacement/repair of electrical, gas, water and sewerage equipment.

To date, the Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme, has been activated in the 15 councils of Banana, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, North Burnett, Rockhampton, Somerset, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Western Downs.

Counter Disaster Operations have been activated in the 26 councils of: Aurukun, Banana, Bundaberg, Burdekin, Burke, Cairns, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Central Highlands, Cook, Gladstone, Hinchinbrook, Isaac, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mackay, Mapoon, Moreton Bay, Napranum, Palm Island, Pormpuraaw, Rockhampton, Tablelands, Torres Shire, Torres Strait Island and Whitsunday.

Restoration of Essential Public Assets measures are available in the 19 LGAs of: Aurukun, Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Central Highlands, Cook, Doomadgee, Gladstone, Hinchinbrook, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Mornington, Napranum, Palm Island, Rockhampton, Torres Strait Island and Wujal Wujal.

More information about the assistance that available in each affected local government area can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

More information about how to apply for personal hardship assistance is available at http://www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies/recovery-after-disaster/

Contacts:

Ryan Liddell (Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) 0427 225 763

Queensland Minister of Minister for Police and Community Safety 0439 719 116