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Disaster Recovery Payments reach victims of fires and floods.



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Senator Ludwig’s Media Contact: Joe Scavo 0413 800 757

MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister for Human Services Senator for Queensland

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Disaster Recovery Payments reach victims of fires and floods

More than 25,000 victims of bushfires in Victoria and floods in Queensland have now received Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments worth over $20 million.

In Victoria, more than 11,000 claims worth $12.8 million covering almost 15,500 people have been paid.

In Queensland, more than 6,000 claims worth $7.6 million covering 9,700 people have been paid.

Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment provided victims of these disasters with immediate access to funds, often in cash or cheque.

“Centrelink staff at Recovery and Relief Centres, backed by about 330 staff in processing teams across Australia, are processing claims as fast as possible,” Senator Ludwig said.

“In Victoria, more than 250 Centrelink Customer Service Advisers and social workers from around Australia are on the ground in communities devastated by the fires.”

“Two Australian Government mobile Servicing Buses have been diverted to the fire zone, providing payments and support to the people affected.”

“In Queensland, about 12 staff are working from the Recovery Centre at Ingham along with staff at the Ingham Customer Service Centre, and additional staff are heading to Palm Island today.”

Financial support available from Centrelink, including the Disaster Recovery Payment, Income Recovery Support Payment and Funeral Assistance, is in addition to financial help available from the Victorian Government and non-government agencies.

Bushfire victims seeking Centrelink’s assistance can phone 180 22 11. Flood victims can contact Centrelink on 180 22 22.

Extensive information about payments is available online at www.centrelink.gov.au or at any Relief and Recovery Centre.