FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE FOR MORE WIDE BAY RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY FLOODING

More Wide Bay residents in the South Burnett and Cherbourg who have been hit hard by the current flooding can now apply for financial support from the Liberal and Nationals Government.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the Disaster Recovery Allowance will be available to support people in the local government areas of Cherbourg, North Burnett and South Burnett.

“The Disaster Recovery Allowance provides a short-term income support payment to assist individuals whose employment or income has been affected by the disastrous flooding and storm damage,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Allowance is available for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance.

“By extending financial support to these three communities, the Liberal and Nationals Government is helping as many people get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Mr O’Brien said.

The one-off Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment will also be available for impacted individuals in North Burnett. This builds on the Australian Government assistance already available in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast and Gympie.

“I encourage residents 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.

“The easiest and fastest way to claim the Disaster Recovery Payment is online through myGov.

“If you’re eligible for the Disaster Recovery Allowance, you will need to claim this over the phone by calling the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66.”

Staff from Services Australia are available to take calls between 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

To provide further support, the Australian Government is also pausing Centrelink debt raising and new debt recovery in the affected locations.

Check your eligibility at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster

Additional disaster assistance is also being provided to South Burnett, Bundaberg, North Burnett Regional Councils through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to cover the costs associated with clean-up and repairs to public infrastructure.

“The effects of the severe flood and rain event are still being assessed but the Australian and Queensland Governments will continue to work together to extend assistance wherever it is needed,” Mr O’Brien said.