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

27 January 2013

Assistance for disaster affected communities in Queensland

Joint media release with
The Hon Jack Dempsey MP
Queensland Minister for Police and Community Safety

Additional assistance will be made available to disaster-affected communities in Queensland under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan and the Queensland Minister for Police and Community Safety, Jack Dempsey announced today.

Mr Swan also announced that COMDISPLAN, the Commonwealth Government Disaster Response Plan, has been activated and the Australian Defence Force is set to provide support to state emergency officials.

"Yesterday's wild weather in central Queensland, including mini-tornadoes in Bargara, Burnett Heads and Bundaberg, and heavy rain has caused damage to homes and businesses and left many without electricity," Mr Swan said.

"The Commonwealth Disaster Plan has already been activated and two Black Hawks are making their way from Townsville to Bundaberg to assist with rescue operations.

"The Federal Government stands ready to provide further ADF assistance at the request of the Queensland Government."

Mr Dempsey advised that joint Federal/State NDRRA assistance has been extended to support the local government areas of Central Highlands, Isaac, Mackay, Whitsunday, and Bundaberg.

"This assistance under the NDRRA includes personal hardship and distress payments to individuals, counter disaster operations and means essential community assets can be repaired," Mr Dempsey said.

There are now twenty-nine councils eligible for assistance across Queensland.

Personal Hardship and Distress Assistance measures are available in the 4 LGAs of: Banana, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton.

The personal hardship assistance scheme includes emergency grants for the acquisition of food, clothing, accommodation and medical supplies in the immediate aftermath of an event of $180 for individuals and $900 for couples/families. The scheme also includes essential household contents grants and structural assistance grants. These payments are income and asset tested.

Additionally, essential services safety and reconnection scheme includes maximum grants of $5,000 per household comprising of safety inspections for reconnection of essential services and replacement/repair of electrical, gas, water and sewerage equipment.

Counter Disaster Operations measures are available in the 24 LGAs of: Aurukun, Banana, Burdekin, Burke, Cairns, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Central Highlands, Cook, Gladstone, Hinchinbrook, Isaac, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mackay, Mapoon, Napranum, Palm Island, Pormpuraaw, Rockhampton, Tablelands, Torres Shire, Torres Strait Island, Whitsunday.

Restoration of Essential Public Assets measures are available in the 19 LGAs of: Aurukun, Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Central Highlands, Cook, Doomadgee, Gladstone, Hinchinbrook, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Mornington, Napranum, Palm Island, Rockhampton, Torres Strait Island and Wujal Wujal.

"NDRRA assistance will be extended to other communities if they are impacted," Mr Dempsey said.

"People should visit the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website to find out about the type of assistance available in their community," Mr Swan said.

"The Commonwealth and Queensland governments will continue to monitor the developing situation in Queensland and ensure appropriate assistance is provided to the affected communities.

"Our thoughts are with all those Queenslanders who are affected by this torrid weather and the emergency responders who are working hard in these difficult circumstances."

COMDISPLAN is the Australian Government plan to provide assistance to States and Territories in the event of a disaster. The Commonwealth Government stands ready to provide additional support to Queensland when and if it is required.

More information about the assistance that available in each affected local government area can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au.