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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Assistance readied for residents affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Assistance readied for residents affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie

    The Queensland Government is committed to providing both immediate and ongoing support to those who have been directly affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

    The Whitsunday and Mackay local government areas are the first cyclone-affected communities to receive disaster relief assistance under joint Federal and State funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

    As further damage assessment are made across affected communities in North Queensland, residents outside of these areas may also be eligible for disaster funding relief.

    “The immediate focus is on the safety of Queenslanders as Debbie crosses the coast and its immediate aftermath, but we have already moved to put measures in place to make assistance available for affected families and households,” the Premier said.

    “As part of our preparations, Immediate Hardship Assistance and support services are ready for residents directly affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.”

    The Premier said a Community Recovery Hotline - 1800 173 349 – is live for information or to arrange any assistance affected residents might require.

    The Department of Communities has planning well advanced to provide information and support through Recovery Hubs and Outreach teams which will be established as soon as it is safe to do so.

    For the first time, applications for financial assistance will be able to be made online through the www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au and eligible residents can have payments transferred directly to their bank accounts.

    For those families without access to the internet or phone, we have also pre-deployed 30,000 debit cards to the region with another 15,000 in reserve and another 50,000 due end of the week.

    The Premier delivered an additional 2000 debit cards to Bowen during her visit to the cyclone-affected community today.

    Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said relief help was available for families and residents living in communities affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, so they can purchase food and other essentials.

    “Our hearts go out to all Queenslanders who have been affected by this cyclone,” Ms Fentiman said.

    “But we are ready to help you all get back on your feet as fast as possible.”

    Immediate Hardship Assistance will be available to people who:

    • Live or are stranded in the targeted activation zone
    • Are unable to meet immediate essential needs
    • Are unable to seek support from family or friends and
    • Demonstrate direct impact such as loss or damage to home, loss of essential personal items and/or isolation from home for more than 48 hours.

    Subject to these criteria, applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of five or more. Other assistance may also be available.

    People who are experiencing personal hardship should contact the Community Recovery Hotline of 1800 173 349, or go to www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au for further information.

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791 or Brooke Baskin (Minister's office) 0400 774 303