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Short and long-term assistance to help communities rebuild



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Hon Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on the Queensland Flood Recovery Shayne Neumann MP Member for Blair

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MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, 18th January 2011

Short and Long-Term Assistance to Help Communities Rebuild

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on the Queensland Flood Recovery Joe Ludwig today joined Member for Blair Shayne Neumann in Ipswich to meet residents impacted by the floods and thank emergency services personnel.

“The devastation in Ipswich from last week’s floods is unfathomable and its impact will be felt for years to come,” Mr McClelland said.

“What’s remarkable is that last week, much of the town was underwater; today we’re seeing people working side by side to help rebuild the community.

“The Commonwealth Government will work with Queensland Government and council to help rebuild Ipswich, including funding the restoration of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges and schools.

“Short term support from the Commonwealth is also available in the form of disaster payments from Centrelink and the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy for people who’ve been unable to work because of the floods.

“Early assistance is flowing, with nearly 110,000 claims for the Australian Government’s Disaster Assistance Payment now granted, putting more than $136 million in the hands of the people who’ve suffered as a result of these floods.

“There is a range of Commonwealth assistance available through Centrelink and the Queensland Government and I strongly urge anyone who’s been affected by the floods to lodge a claim for support if they haven’t already done so.”

“Since the start of December I’ve been travelling around regional Queensland to look at the impact of these devastating floods to local communities,” Minister Ludwig said.

“While we do not know the full impact of the floods, it’s clear the full recovery will take years.

Hon Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on the Queensland Flood Recovery Shayne Neumann MP Member for Blair

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“The scale of the damage varies across regional Queensland. This disaster has effected urban communities as well as primary producers and small business.”

“Ipswich was very badly affected with whole streets inundated.”

Mr Neumann said the reconstruction cost and effort will be significant in Ipswich.

“The cost will be significant, but the Commonwealth is committed to this community and ensuring it happens,” he said.

“It’s good to have the Attorney-General and Minister Ludwig on the ground so they can see first-hand the devastation these floodwaters have caused.

“It’s heart-breaking - people have lost loved ones, all their possessions, their livelihoods. Some people still haven’t been able to return home.

“The Ipswich community can be reassured that the Commonwealth will work closely with the Queensland Government to rebuild infrastructure, and support individuals, small businesses and primary producers through the recovery.”

Financial assistance

The Australian Government is providing a range of payments and grants to people affected by the floods. All the assistance below is available in Ipswich Local Government Area.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment:  $1000 per eligible adult, $400 per eligible child - available across all 53 LGAs that have been declared natural disaster zones in Queensland.

Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy:  Fortnightly payments for those who have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the flooding. Payments equivalent up to the maximum rate of Newstart or Youth Allowance for a period of 13 weeks.

o Single rate: $469.70/fortnight o Single with dependent child rate $508.20/fortnight o Partnered rate: $424.00(each)/fortnight o Under 21 rate: $388.70/fortnight

Hon Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on the Queensland Flood Recovery Shayne Neumann MP Member for Blair

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 To qualify, a person's personal income should not exceed the relevant Newstart or Youth Allowance income cut-offs and is not available to people eligible for other income support payments.

The Australian Government is also providing Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement (NDRRA) funding, in conjunction with the Queensland Government as follows:

NDRRA Personal Hardship and distress assistance:  Emergency Assistance grants - $170 per person, up to a maximum of $780 for a family of five or more is available. This grant is available to people experiencing hardship and who require assistance to meet their basic needs.  Essential Household Contents grants of up to $1,660 for individuals and $4,980 for

families.  Repairs to Dwelling grants of up to $10,250 for individuals and $13,800 for families

NDRAA Assistance for Small Businesses and Primary Producers:  Grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses and primary producers for clean up and recovery - available across 22 LGAs and four partial LGAs.  Concessional interest rate loans of up to $250,000 for small business operators and

primary producers, as well as freight subsidies of up to $5,000 - available in 28 LGAs.

NDRRA Assistance for essential public infrastructure  Payments will be made to repair or rebuild infrastructure such as roads, bridges and schools

For more information:

Australian Government Emergency Information line - 180 22 66 For enquiries about the Australian Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment & Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy. Open 8am to 8pm QLD time, seven days a week.

Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority - 1800 623 946 For enquiries relating to Small Businesses and Primary Producers assistance.

QLD Department of Communities - 1800 173 349 For enquiries relating to hardship and other flood related enquiries.

Hon Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on the Queensland Flood Recovery Shayne Neumann MP Member for Blair

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Australian Government Disaster Assist Website - www.disasterassist.gov.au/queenslandfloods The Australian Government Disaster Assist website has been set up by the Australian Government to give individuals and families better access to information about recovery assistance following a disaster.

Contact: Ryan Liddell (McClelland) - 0427 225 763 Sarah McSporran (Ludwig) - 0423 823 843

Shayne Neumann - (07) 3201 5300