FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FLOODED FRASER COAST AND GYMPIE RESIDENTS

Personal Hardship Assistance is now available to support residents of 13 localities within the Fraser Coast and Gympie Regional Council areas, including Maryborough, impacted by the devastating heavy rainfall and flooding associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth from 7 – 10 January 2022.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said grants of up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, are now available to eligible residents Bauple, Glenwood, Gundiah, Maryborough, Tiaro, Booubyjan, Goomeri, Gunalda, Kilkivan, Miva, Tansey, Theebine and Woolooga who are experiencing personal financial hardship as a result of the flooding.

“We know that both homes and businesses have been inundated in these areas, with a number of people evacuated, stranded or with no power,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The Personal Hardship assistance grants will help people who have been hit hard by this disaster to cover the costs of essential items such as food, medication and clothing.

“The Coordinator-General of the National Recovery and Resilience Shane L Stone AC QC will be on the ground tomorrow, meeting with key stakeholders in Maryborough and the surrounding region to view the flood impacts and discuss local recovery needs.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk inspected flood damage in Maryborough today.

“We know a number of people are stranded, have lost power, have had to leave their homes and that homes and businesses have been inundated,” the Premier said.

“Queensland Government Ready Reserves are ready to lead community recovery efforts with support available online and over the phone initially until it is safe to enter the local areas.

“Face-to-face support will be available in the affected areas as soon as possible once roads open and floodwaters subside.

“Dedicated community recovery workers will help affected individuals and families access the financial assistance and support services that they need to assist with their recovery.”

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the scale, intensity and speed of the disaster caused widespread losses throughout Wide Bay.

“Nothing can replace the stock and crops that have been lost, the loss of trade for businesses, the 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,” Mr O’Brien said.

State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders encouraged his impacted community to access the financial assistance to help cover the costs of essential items.

“Many people have had to leave their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs so this DRFA assistance can help them to get those necessities,” he said.

Mr Saunders said other grants such as Essential Household Contents Grant, Structural Assistance Grant and Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant, which are income tested, are also available to eligible residents who are uninsured and have experienced certain loss or damage following this disaster.

Grant applications can be made through Community Recovery online portal at www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au

Residents without internet access can ring the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 to get information or apply for grants and access to support services.

Acting Minister for Communities and Housing Mark Bailey said people can also download the Self Recovery app for information or to apply for grants, including Emergency Hardship Assistance grants.

“The Self Recovery app, online portal and the hotline are vital in times of disasters to provide access to the latest information, grant applications and referrals for community organisations and other government agencies,” Mr Bailey said.

Minister Bailey also said the Queensland Government is continuing to work with local disaster management groups monitoring flood impacts across communities.

People who are experiencing hardship due to this flooding should contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or go to www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies for further information.

Additionally anyone impacted by the flood event can apply for housing assistance, including home owners and private renters, by visiting www.qld.gov.au or calling 13QGOV (13 74 68).