MORE ASSISTANCE FOR WIDE BAY FLOOD VICTIMS

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien has welcomed a new $771 million flood support package that will be extended to flood-affected communities in Queensland, including Gympie, Fraser Coast, Noosa, South Burnett and Cherbourg.

The new package of support for Queensland includes:

  • $275 million Resilient Household Rebuild Program
  • $350 million Voluntary Buy-Back Program
  • $6 million industry and community education program
  • $100 million Resilient Household Raising Program
  • $10 million property level flood information project; and
  • $30 million for extensive clean-up.

Mr O’Brien said the additional funding would come on top of $379 million in Commonwealth funding that has already been directly to Queenslanders.

“These floods were absolutely devastating for many families and businesses, and while floods have always been and will always be a part of life for many communities in Queensland, these initiatives will help ensure that people can reduce risk and be prepared and more resilient going into the future,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, has visited Wide Bay twice since January to see firsthand the scale of this flood disaster, and I have worked with Senator McKenzie, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, to ensure that people in Wide Bay are getting the assistance necessary as we work through the recovery and improving flood resilience.”

This additional support, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments, means the Federal Government is providing over $1.3 billion, with the Queensland Government providing around $700 million to support Queenslanders affected by this recent flood event.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said although primary responsibility for this proposal was to be delivered by the Queensland Government, the Federal Government was stepping up to support Queenslanders.

“Queenslanders just want these issues to be addressed and for funding to continue to support residents and businesses in need,” the Prime Minister said.

“I know many people are still doing it tough and I want to ensure the only focus of my Government is to support their needs.

“To date, the Federal Government has committed over $1.3 billion in flood relief support to Queensland residents and businesses affected by this most recent flood.

“This includes paying out more than $383 million to the bank accounts of over 451,000 Queensland flood victims. These payments are 100 per cent funded by the Federal Government without support from the Queensland Government.

“As part of our agreement, I look forward to the Queensland Government providing regular public transparent reporting on how they are getting money into the pockets of Queenslanders in need.”

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Bridget McKenzie said this next package of assistance was funded under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

“Australians want their leaders to be getting on with the job and supporting people who need it. They don’t want us playing politics with disaster victims. What people need is the hope and confidence to carry on with their recovery,” Minister McKenzie said.

“That’s why the Commonwealth has agreed to a package of support for Queensland which focuses on resilience and mitigation.”

“The significant devastation wreaked by these floods across Queensland is something this government is determined to mitigate against, now and in the future,” Minister McKenzie said.

“I have seen the impact on Queenslanders first hand, I have walked the streets with survivors and I know this next wave of support will enable residents in flood-ravaged communities to build back better and become more resilient to future disasters.”

This announcement is in addition to the $558 million package agreed by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments on 5 March to support primary producers, small business and local councils and sporting clubs.

For more information visit recovery.gov.au.