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$3.2 million in disaster recovery payments to storm victims.



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Minister Ludwig’s media contact: Sarah Cosson 0423 823 843

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

Monday 24 November 2008

$3.2 million in disaster recovery payments to storm victims

Residents seriously affected by the South East Queensland storms last week, have already received more than $3 million in immediate financial relief.

Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, said Centrelink had processed about 4,100 claims for Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments and has delivered $3.2 million in payments less than a week since the assistance package was announced.

“The Australian Government has responded quickly and effectively to deliver financial help to those affected by the severe storms that hit the region last week,” Senator Ludwig said.

“Centrelink staff worked non-stop over the weekend to process claims and ensure residents adversely affected received the single, one-off payment of $1,000 for adults and $400 for each child.”

“This money has made a real difference to those people whose homes have been significantly damaged or who have been seriously injured as a result of this disaster.”

The money has been paid to 2,600 adults and 1,500 children.

“The Rudd Government will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government, local councils and community organisations to ensure those in need are getting quick access to financial and emotional support,” Senator Ludwig said.

Centrelink staff will be available at Community Recovery Centres this week to assist residents.

“As the Prime Minister’s representative in the region, I toured areas devastated by the storms and saw first hand the toll they have taken on local residents,” Senator Ludwig said.

“Centrelink staff, including social workers, are continuing to provide assistance to residents at recovery centres at Ashgrove, Ipswich, Everton Hills and Narangba and the Australian Government Drought Bus is located at Rosewood.”

“I commend staff across the country who have worked tirelessly to process claims for assistance as quickly as possible.”

“I’d also like to thank Australian Defence Force personnel who performed a vital role on the ground, and who remain on stand by to provide assistance should more storms hit the region.”

“My thoughts are with the thousands of families who have been caught up in this disaster. The Rudd Government stands ready to offer further assistance to the Queensland Government, should it be necessary.”

Affected residents can call the Australian Government’s South East Queensland Storms Hotline on 180 2266 for 24 hour assistance or lodge claims online at www.centrelink.gov.au More information on Australian Government assistance is available at www.disasterassist.gov.au