DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR FLOODED COMMUNITIES

A range of disaster assistance measures are now available in the Fraser Coast, Gympie, South Burnett and Cherbourg council areas, following the devastating heavy rainfall and flooding associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth from 7 – 10 January 2022.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the new assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“Personal Hardship Assistance payments are now available to support impacted residents in the hardest hit areas of Maryborough, Tiaro, Bauple, Gundiah and Glenwood in the Fraser Coast and the localities of Goomeri, Kilkivan, Tansey, Miva, Woolooga, Theebine, Gunalda and Booubyjan in the Gympie region,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These grants provide up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, and other income tested payments including grants to safely reconnect essential services are available.

“Heavy rainfalls in many parts of the Wide Bay electorate had caused major damage and further impacts are being assessed as we move into the clean-up and recovery phase.

“We know that the severe flooding has tragically resulted in the loss of life, in people being evacuated from their homes, and in significant damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The last few days have been a particularly difficult time for so many people throughout Wide Bay.

“Nothing can replace the stock and crops that have been lost, the loss of trade for businesses, damaged and destroyed personal effects, and the absence from loved ones that the floods have caused, but these payments and allowances will hopefully help to ease some of the burden from this natural disaster.

“Low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to help flood impacted primary producers and small businesses in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“In recognition of the impact the floods are having on the local economy, freight subsidies of up to $5,000 will also be made available to eligible primary producers in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett who experienced inundation.

“Assistance is also being made available through the DRFA to help the Cherbourg, Fraser Coast and Gympie local councils cover the cost of clean-up efforts and the repair of essential public infrastructure,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Fraser Coast and Gympie council areas have been at the centre of this emergency, with homes and business submerged.

“Up to 70 businesses and 80 homes in Maryborough have experienced inundation, but the hard work put in by the Fraser Coast Council and emergency services has thankfully limited the damage.

“The activation of this DRFA assistance is the first for this event and Local and State Government agencies are working to assess the impact of the floods. The Australian Government is ready to provide further assistance where necessary to ensure impacted communities receive all the support they need to recover and rebuild.”

  • For information on Personal Hardship Assistance, and the range of other hardship payments available please, contact the Community Recovery Hotline 1800 173 349 or visit www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies. 
  • For more information on loans for primary producers and small businesses phone Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 or visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au. 
  • For information on the freight subsidies visit www.daf.qld.gov.au or phone the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23. 
  • Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au.