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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Ministers deployed to cyclone-affected and flooded communities

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Sunday, April 02, 2017

    Ministers deployed to cyclone-affected and flooded communities

    The Queensland Disaster Management Committee at 8am this morning (Sunday, 2 April) was updated on the status of flood warnings for the Connors, Isaac, Mackenzie and Fitzroy Rivers in central Queensland, the impact of flooding of the Logan River that peaked in the State's south-east last night, and recovery efforts underway in communities in north Queensland impacted directly by Debbie.

    The QDMC was formally advised of the death of a 77-year-old man at Eagleby was confirmed yesterday afternoon. The safety of all Queenslanders has been the focus of QDMC and my Government, and this remains our focus as floodwaters reach Rockhampton and the recovery progresses across the State. Authorities continue to hold concerns for three missing people.

    As of this morning, 4000 damage assessments of properties have been undertaken in Cyclone-affected communities of north and central Queensland, with more than 500 of these are uninhabitable. In the south-east corner, 500 assessments have been updated and 20 of those are deemed uninhabitable.

    There have been more than 6000 requests for SES assistance and 188 swiftwater rescues.

    Work is underway to re-connect a remaining 29,000 customers in north Queensland, more than 65,000 lost service last week. There remains 8000 to be re-connected in south-east Queensland. Ergon Energy will work with the Rockhampton Regional Council on disconnecting customers, to ensure there are no live wire issues, as Fitzroy River flood levels rise; 90 customers are expected to be disconnected today and they have been notified.

    The remaining temporary barrier has been transferred to be erected to protect Rockhampton airport infrastructure when floodwaters rise and close the airport. Temporary barriers are also being erected to protect homes in the north Rockhampton suburb of Berserker.

    Ministers

    I have tasked senior Ministers to travel across the State today to focus on impacted communities and issues raised in wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.  

    Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will travel to Rockhampton to follow-up on the comprehensive planning being led by the Council for a Fitzroy River peak on Wednesday. Ms Trad visited Airlie Beach and Dingo Beach on Friday. Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey will be travelling to Mackay this afternoon with a focus on roads as well as electricity and water supplies.  He will travel to Airlie Beach and Bowen on Monday and will visit other areas over coming days.

    Police Minister and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan will be with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll inspecting some of the work being done by emergency crews in the Beenleigh and Logan areas following the peak of the Logan River last night. Minister Ryan will travel to the Sunshine Coast region tomorrow.

    Agriculture Minister and Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne will remain in his electorate to monitor the rising floodwaters and the emergency response. Minister Byrne has also overseen his Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' work to assess the impact on the agricultural sector. 

    Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke will remain in north Queensland and continue to feed into QDMC, particularly on whole of government deployments into impacted communities in the Mackay and Whitsunday regions.

    Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick has updated QDMC that 23 paramedics and four emergency medical dispatchers to be deployed to Rockhampton. The Minister will be in Logan today to support the community in its flood relief and recovery efforts. Minister Dick will be in Mackay on Monday night before travelling to Collinsville, Bowen, Airlie Beach and Proserpine on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman will be in her electorate of Waterford in the Logan region, where residents, businesses, community groups and sporting clubs have been hit hard by flood waters.

    Local Government Minister and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Mark Furner will visit Logan and possibly Scenic Rim areas on Monday to meet with Elders and ATSI-specific service and welfare providers affected by flooding.

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt plans to discuss with insurance companies and the Insurance Council of Australia support for affected Queenslanders.

    Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni will be visiting cyclone recovery zones on Wednesday to thank staff who have worked to provide emergency accommodation for displaced people and extra care for vulnerable public housing clients, especially older people and people with disabilities. He will also be inspecting repairs on state government assets and talking to community and industry leaders about efforts to engage local contractors.

    Education and Tourism Minister Kate Jones, who has returned from a 10-day trade mission to China yesterday, and plans to visit the Whitsunday region later this week to meet with tourism operators and inspect damage to schools.

    Cabinet and QDMC tomorrow

    I will chair the QDMC at the Queensland Room at 1 William Street at 8:30am tomorrow (3 April).

    Cabinet will meet at 10am with a focus on response and recovery efforts.

    Disaster declarations and assistance

    Under the joint Commonwealth-State funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, the following declarations have been made and categories of assistance are available for the following local government areas (as at 9am today)

    The personal Hardship Assistance Scheme has been activated for:

    • Isaac
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Scenic Rim
    • Whitsunday

    This will provide hardship and distress assistance for families and individuals to help with emergency needs such as food, clothing and accommodation, essential repairs to damaged homes and the replacement of essential household contents.

    Counter disaster operations and clean up assistance have been activated in the affected local government areas of:

    • Burdekin
    • Central Highlands
    • Charters Towers
    • Gladstone
    • Gold Coast City
    • Hinchinbrook
    • Isaac
    • Livingstone
    • Lockyer Valley
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Moreton Bay
    • Palm Island
    • Rockhampton
    • Scenic Rim
    • Southern Downs
    • Toowoomba
    • Townsville
    • Whitsunday
    • Woorabinda

    Financial assistance is also being made available to local government authorities to restore damaged essential public infrastructure in the local government areas of:

    • Gladstone
    • Gold Coast City
    • Isaac
    • Livingstone Shire
    • Lockyer Valley
    • Logan
    • Rockhampton
    • Scenic Rim
    • Southern Downs
    • Toowoomba
    • Mackay
    • Whitsunday

    For Primary Producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations - Category B - in the affected local government areas of:

    • Mackay
    • Whitsunday

    This includes concessional interest rate loans and interest rate subsidies for small businesses, primary producers and voluntary non-profit organisations, freight subsidies for primary producers, grants to voluntary non-profit organisations, as well as grants and loans to needy individuals.

    Important numbers for assistance

    For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500 and in a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero. 

    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 ( https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com ) or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or for further information

    Donations 

    I continue to encourage anyone wanting to help their fellow Queenslanders to make a donation directly with a respected charity:

    • Australian Red Cross Society —1800 811 700 redcross.org.au
    • The Salvation Army — 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) salvos.org.au/
    • St Vincent de Paul Society of Queensland — 3010 1002 vinnies.org.au/donate
    • UnitingCare Community — 1800 001 953 uccommunity.org.au/disaster-relief

    These charities are trained to respond to the needs of communities hit by natural disasters and can provide food, equipment, shelter, and other support.

    Goods and services can also be donated to GIVIT through their website www.givit.org.au

    Media contact: Geoff Breusch (Premier’s office) 0417 272 875