AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FLOODED COMMUNITIES IN WIDE BAY

Financial assistance is now available to employees and sole traders in Wide Bay who experience a loss of income as a direct result of the major disaster unfolding in Queensland.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said applications are now open for Disaster Recovery Allowance for eligible people in the local government areas of Gympie, South Burnett, Fraser Coast, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast in Wide Bay.

“The Disaster Recovery Allowance provides a short-term income support payment to assist sole traders and individuals whose employment or income has been affected by this latest severe weather event and the resultant floods,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is available for up to 13 weeks, and is taxable.

The one-off $1,000 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children is also available for people within these local government areas who have suffered significant loss.

“The Australian Government is making this financial support available because people need assistance urgently, and the economic impacts of disasters like these are felt long after floodwaters recede and clean-up begins,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is clear that there will be some very difficult days, weeks and months ahead for hundreds of families and businesses in Wide Bay, and I am working with the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and the Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie to ensure people in Wide Bay can receive assistance to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“I encourage Wide Bay residents who have been impacted by the current flooding to firstly check their eligibility for the Disaster Recovery Allowance and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment on the Services Australia website, before lodging a claim for assistance,” Mr O’Brien said.

Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the storms and floods.

The easiest and quickest way to claim the Disaster Recovery Payment or the Disaster Recovery Allowance is online through myGov.  The Australian Government Emergency Information Line can provide assistance and advice and can be contacted on 180 22 66.