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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Canberra must rethink disaster aid snub, Qld reaffirms $110M commitment

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Tuesday, July 18, 2017

    Canberra must rethink disaster aid snub, Qld reaffirms $110M commitment

    The Palaszczuk Government has reaffirmed its offer of $110 million for recovery and reconstruction projects for communities devastated by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, and the Turnbull Government should do the same.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her Government had worked with affected local councils to develop a case for $220 million Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements – Category D funding, which was lodged with the Prime Minister on 11 May, for recovery and reconstruction projects.

    “Two months later, the Prime Minister has advised that instead of providing a matching $110 million, his Government would only pay $29.3 million,” she said.

    “I promised I would not leave Queenslanders behind, and my Government won’t.”

    “The Deputy Premier and I will meet with the Local Government Association of Queensland and Mayors from Whitsunday, Mackay and Rockhampton today to discuss how we proceed. The Prime Minister needs to rethink the decision on the NDRRA applications – it’s callous and his Government is out of touch.”

    The Premier said her Government’s commitment of $110 million would remain.

    Shute Harbour – request for further information

    Speaking to a Budget Estimates hearing in Brisbane today, the Premier said the Turnbull Government’s management of NDRRA was confusing.

    “I am advised officers of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority had been contact by the Emergency Management Australia yesterday, after the NDRRA Category D decision, to ask for further information about the damage at Shute Harbour in Whitsunday Regional Council,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “At the same time, the Prime Minister is writing to say there was ‘not enough evidence’ to support projects like Shute Harbour, officers of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority are getting asked for information by Emergency Management Australia about Shute Harbour as late as yesterday.”

    Shute Harbour is a key transport hub and tourism facility for some 60,000 people per annum accessing the Whitsunday Islands, its restoration and revitalisation is critical to the socio-economic resilience of the Whitsundays community.

    As part of the Category D submission, Whitsunday Regional Council identified Shute Harbour as a priority project for funding. Following STC Debbie, Whitsunday Regional Council undertook preliminary assessments of Shute Harbour following. The requested Category D component for the Shute Harbour project was $18.7 million.

    On Friday 14 July 2017, Emergency Management Australia (EMA) advised the Queensland Reconstruction Authority 2017 that it required further information on the Shute Harbour – Category D proposal in relation to insurance claims.

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