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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey
    Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

    Extra grants for Mackay and Whitsunday residents affected by TC Debbie

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
    The Honourable Mark Bailey

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

    Saturday, April 01, 2017

    Extra grants for Mackay and Whitsunday residents affected by TC Debbie

    Extra financial assistance will be available from midnight tonight (Saturday 1 April going into 2 April) for people in the Mackay and Whitsunday areas who have been affected by a loss of electricity, gas or water for more than five days due to Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

    Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk who was in Mackay today to support local recovery efforts, said a lack of power, gas and water was making it harder for many Mackay and Whitsunday residents as they recover from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

    "Ergon is putting in an almighty effort to restore power, working alongside councils, the ADF, Telstra and many others.

    “These grants for loss of essential services will help residents get back on their feet,” she said.

    “Under the Essential Services - Hardship Assistance grant, $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of five or more, will be available in the worst hit areas, for those without these services for more than 5 days.

    “We know that the loss of power for days on end can mean spoiled food and force the purchase of bottled water, and these grants can help cover some of these costs for affected residents.”

    Minister for Energy Mark Bailey praised the tireless efforts of energy workers to restore power to affected homes and businesses safely since the cyclone passed.

    Minister for Communities Shannon Fentiman said “this assistance is offered by the Queensland Government to help cover the costs of essential items such as replacement food and water required by families who have been without power, gas or water for more than five days.”

    “These grants were in addition to Immediate Hardship Assistance grants of $180 per person, up to $900 for a family of five or more” she said

    To apply for these grants visit www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery to fill in the web form or ring the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

    Once checked and approved funds will be electronically transferred (EFT) to a nominated bank account with transfer times subject to normal bank processing times.

    Affected residents can also visit the Mackay and Bowen community recovery hubs to apply in person for a grant which will be distributed in the form of prepaid Recovery Debit Cards which can be used anywhere EFTPOS is available.

    Ms Fentiman said 180 Ready Reserve staff have so far been deployed to boost recovery efforts, bringing the total number of staff now working in affected areas to close to 300, together with our Recovery Qld community partners like Red Cross, Vinnies, the  Salvos and Uniting Care Qld.

    “By yesterday afternoon (Friday), the Community Recovery Hotline had already taken 3,300 calls from people needing information, support and to apply for grants,” she said.

    “We have also received 6924 grant applications through our Community Recovery online portal and Self-Recovery app.”

    Essential Household Contents Grants, Structural Assistance Grants and Essential Services Safety Reconnection Scheme Grants are also available for individuals and families affected by this widespread disaster.

    People who are experiencing personal hardship due to TC Debbie should download and use the Self-recovery app, go to www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or for further information.

    Media Contact

    Geoff Breusch   0417 272 875