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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Turnbull Government to reimburse $1 billion disaster funding owed to Queensland

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016

    Turnbull Government to reimburse $1 billion disaster funding owed to Queensland

    The Turnbull Government has finally conceded it will pay Queensland $1 billion in disaster relief funding.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the long awaited release of the funds follows the finalisation of unprecedented assurance work undertaken at the request of the Federal Government for events dating back as far as 2006. 

    “The decision to withhold this funding was a political move made in the dead of the night and sprung on my government and Queensland councils in the Federal Budget papers,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

    “Despite the Queensland Audit Office signing off on our claim, the Commonwealth insisted on a protracted and unnecessary process to tell us what we already knew, that our claim for disaster reconstruction funding was legitimate.

    “Their own independent report has found Queensland has implemented a strong framework to administer NDRRA and has supported the findings of the Queensland Audit Office in relation to these claims. 

    “This is a vindication of the assurance processes undertaken by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the hard work of disaster impacted councils that strive to meet the increasingly complex eligibility requirements of the Commonwealth while rebuilding their communities.”

    Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the move to withhold the funds was unprecedented and wanted an assurance from the Turnbull Government that the state and local councils would not be blindsided again in the next Budget.

    “It feels like Christmas has come early for Queensland. It’s about time the Turnbull Government agreed to pay the lion’s share of money owed to Queensland,” Ms Trad said.

    “Queensland has more natural disasters than any other state. Our communities and councils worked hard to get back on their feet after the devastation of events like Cyclone Oswald in the Bundaberg region, Cyclone Ita in North Queensland and Cyclone Marcia in Central Queensland.

    “Their decision to withhold disaster funding, combined with their refusal to reimburse their share of plant and equipment costs for reconstruction projects has shaken councils’ faith in the NDRRA process.

    “With the next claim for reimbursement due to be submitted early next year, the Turnbull Government must provide some certainty for state and local governments on the rules they intend to apply for this and future events.

    “Queensland cannot wait until Federal Budget night to find out if and when it will receive reimbursement for the disaster reconstruction funding to which it is entitled.”

    Relative to the $1,056 million that was expected when the 2014-15 Claim was made, the $997 million reflects:

    • The release of $43 million in advance funding Queensland had received for prior events, which is yet to be allocated in accordance with EMA advice;
    • $9 million in unresolved submissions supported by the QRA, still to be assessed by EMA; and
    • $7 million for minor adjustments and corrections - this makes up 0.08% of the total program.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791

                          Anna Jabour (Deputy Premier's office) 0429 890 942