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Commonwealth response to South East Queensland storms.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Minister for Social Inclusion. Deputy Prime Minister

17 November, 2008

Media Release

Commonwealth Response to South East Queensland Storms

The Rudd Government has activated the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements for Queensland, following the Bligh Government declaring Brisbane a disaster zone.

This funding will help alleviate personal hardship and distress caused by these devastating storms.

Money will be made available to the community for such necessities as food, clothing, accommodation, and emergency repairs to housing.

The National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements are triggered if a state declares a ‘state of disaster’ and the total cost of the disaster exceeds $240,000. For a disaster of this magnitude the Commonwealth will reimburse the Queensland Government half of the costs incurred.

Through national emergency management arrangements, Defence personnel have also been deployed from Enoggera army base in Brisbane after a request by the Queensland Government.

Forty soldiers have worked closely with the SES to help clear roads and storm damaged properties.

The Rudd Government stands ready to provide further assistance if necessary.

The public rightly expects all levels of government to work closely together in times of need so that the community can bounce back quickly.

The Government’s thoughts are with the thousands of families that have been caught up in this disaster and most particularly with the family of the young man who tragically lost his life.

I can assure all Queenslanders that the Commonwealth is working in cooperation with the Queensland Government to meet any requirements they may need during this difficult time.

Media Contact: Deputy Prime Minister's Press Office: 02 6277 7758 Non-media queries: 1300 363 079