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Qld flood assistance payments tops $100 million



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR KIM CARR Minister for Human Services

SENATOR JOE LUDWIG Minister Assisting on Queensland Flood Recovery

Thursday, 21 February 2013

QLD FLOOD ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS TOPS $100 MILLION

More than $100 million has been paid to Queenslanders affected by storms and floodwaters since the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) was activated around three weeks ago.

Minister Assisting on Queensland Flood Recovery Senator Joe Ludwig said this payment is available across several areas of the state severely affected by storms and flooding from ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

“Since the payment was activated on 29 January, more than 92,000 claims have been granted, worth over $107.8 million,” Senator Ludwig said.

“The AGDRP is now operational in the local government areas of Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, Gladstone, North Burnett, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Rockhampton, South Burnett and Cherbourg.

“The payment of $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children helps people meet short-term recovery costs, and I’d encourage anyone in those areas who has been affected by floodwaters and has yet to claim to test their eligibility as soon as possible.”

Minister for Human Services Senator Kim Carr said payments can be made quickly to help support people during the recovery from this natural disaster.

“The first payments were made into bank accounts just hours after the assistance was activated,” Senator Kim Carr said.

“This is about ensuring people who have been adversely affected have the support they need to go about the clean-up and recovery.

“Department staff have also been available in service centres and recovery centres in many areas to talk to people one-on-one and provide assistance with claims,” he said.

People have six months from the time of activation to apply for AGDRP assistance.

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy (DIRS) has also been activated across several local government areas, including Bundaberg, Gympie, Fraser Coast, North Burnett, Lockyer Valley, Banana, Gladstone, Goondiwindi, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett; the Southern Downs and Toowoomba.

This payment supports disaster-affected communities by helping to retain skilled workers. This fortnightly payment - equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance for a period of 13 weeks - is available to eligible employees, small business operators, primary producers and farmers in areas where the payment has been activated. Over 780 claims for this payment have been granted to date, worth over $357,000.

This Australian Government assistance is over and above the support already being provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), which are jointly funded by the Australia Government and the Queensland Government.

The easiest way to lodge a claim for AGDRP or DIRS is online at humanservices.gov.au/disaster. People can also call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66 - this line is open from 8am to 8pm local time, seven days.

Media contacts: Senator Carr’s Office, 02 6277 7200

Senator Ludwig’s Office, 02 6277 7520