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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 Transport and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Two months after TC Debbie, major advances in recovery efforts

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jackie Trad

    Thursday, May 25, 2017

    Two months after TC Debbie, major advances in recovery efforts

    The Palaszczuk Government’s efforts to implement Operation Queensland Recovery and helping Queenslanders bounce back after the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Debbie were well advanced, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

    Addressing Parliament today – two months after the naming of a Tropical Low as Cyclone Debbie - the Premier said more than 116,000 people have already been assisted Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme and $28.1 million in assistance has been paid through the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

    “Debbie had a devastating impact across large tracts of Queensland. Thirty-five Local Governments have been activated for assistance under the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA),” she said. 

    “A $14.7 million Community Recovery Fund has been established under Category C of the NDRRA.”

    “Over the last two months, there has been a lot of work by a lot of Queenslanders.”

    Key highlights include:

    • 10,763 Rapid Damage Assessments were conducted
    • 235,000 properties had power restored
    • 1167 schools reopened in time for the second term of the school year
    • 996 early childhood centres reopened, and
    • 56,000 insurance claims have been submitted across Queensland and New South Wales worth $897 million.

    Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Jackie Trad said Cyclone Debbie had impacted thousands of Queenslanders and the recovery effort was well on the way.

    “We are focussed on rebuilding and recovery after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie caused throughout our state,” Ms Trad said.

    “State Recovery Coordinator Brigadier Chris Field and his dedicated team of Australian Defence Force personnel, as well as state agencies have been working around the clock to reconnect communities.

    “Almost two months on Brigadier Field is this week handing over the responsibilities of State Recovery Coordinator to Mr Brendan Moon, CEO of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and his two Deputies, Kevin Walsh and Charysse Pond.

    “Brigadier Field has traversed 30,000 km of the state, visiting more than 85 communities and we sincerely thank him for the vital role he has played.”

    Ms Palaszczuk, who is visiting the Bowen region over the weekend, said agriculture had been severely impacted by Debbie.

    “Agriculture is a mainstay of the Queensland economy and the Whitsunday region is a significant contributor to the $10 billion horticulture industry in Queensland. The region is the main winter vegetable growing region in Australia focussing on tomatoes, capsicums, beans and sweet corn,” she said.

    “The gross value of fruit and vegetable production in the region is approximately $450 million with around 10 000 hectares under crops each year.

    “One initiative my Government developed as a result of meeting with growers was my Government’s additional funding of $2 million for our Go Local campaign to encourage people to source local services and produce.”

    “To date, QRAA has received a total of 437 grant applications from primary producers across the State’s disaster affected areas. So far has approved 216 applications worth $1.2 million.

    Any growers who have been affected to contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946 or to arrange a meeting with one of the QRAA staff based in the regions.

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