The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

10 May 2011

NO.052

Joint Media Release with
The Hon Simon Crean MP
Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government
and
The Hon Robert McClelland MP
Attorney-General
and
Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig
Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery

Helping Australian Communities Rebuild and Recover

The Gillard Government is providing an estimated $6.6 billion to help communities across Australia rebuild and recover as a result of last summer's natural disasters.

This funding is helping rebuild vital public infrastructure, as well as providing assistance to individuals, businesses, primary producers and local communities to continue on the long road to recovery.

The Government is providing:

  • Over $4.7 billion to help individuals, businesses and communities affected by floods across Queensland to get back on their feet, including over $2 billion in advance payments in 2010-11 to rebuild damaged infrastructure.
  • Over $950 million to help individuals, businesses and communities affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasi, including support packages that recognise the unique challenges of recovery and rebuilding in Far North Queensland.
  • $500 million as an advance payment to support recovery in Victoria, as well as a total of $379 million in assistance to all other states affected by natural disasters to rebuild their infrastructure.

Under the longstanding Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, the Government expects to contribute about $5.4 billion to the states and territories to help their recovery.

The vast majority of this funding is being invested in repairing damage to essential infrastructure, mostly road and bridges, but also schools and other vital public infrastructure. Current assessments indicate more than 79,000 kilometres of public roads in Queensland alone were damaged as a result of the floods and cyclone.

Funding under the NDRRA has also contributed to personal hardship and distress assistance for individuals and families, concessional loans and clean-up and recovery grants for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations, and freight subsidies for primary producers.

Where exceptional circumstances have existed, the Government has worked with state and local governments to provide additional support packages. As part of these packages, the Government is contributing $213.6 million to help Queensland's local councils repair utilities and infrastructure, and support their efforts in rebuilding.

Additional exceptional assistance includes up to $176.5 million provided to fast-track the repair of vital infrastructure, including severely damaged water and sewerage infrastructure, marine infrastructure in the Cassowary Coast, and the Brisbane ferry terminals and Riverwalk.

Further funding is being directed to support to community development and recovery, mental support services, financial counselling support, and crisis accommodation.

Tailored packages for Far North Queensland have been developed, recognising the unique challenges faced in the region, including a rural resilience fund and wage assistance for communities that rely on a few industries.

The Federal Government has also provided $6 million towards a Tourism Industry Support Package to provide a vital boost to the many families and small businesses that rely on Queensland's reputation as one of the world's most attractive tourism destinations.

The Government has also donated $12.1 million to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal, $1 million to the Perth Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund and $1 million to the Victorian Red Cross Floods Appeal.

Disaster relief for individuals and families funded from this Budget includes:

  • Over 700,000 people affected by natural disasters have received Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments (AGDRP) of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child across the country.
  • Over 61,000 people have received the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy (DIRS) to employees, small business owners and farmers whose incomes were affected by natural disasters.

The Gillard Government stands shoulder-to-shoulder to help our devastated communities continue on the long road to recovery.

CANBERRA
10 May 2011