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

    Canberra must deliver disaster assistance for TC Debbie communities

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Wednesday, August 09, 2017

    Canberra must deliver disaster assistance for TC Debbie communities

    Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie caused havoc and damage across large parts of Queensland for thousands of Queenslanders.

    During Debbie’s onslaught and the immediate response, agencies of my Government worked with local councils, local businesses and communities, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Defence Force.

    The Queensland Reconstruction Authority has worked closely with local councils to plan and implement the long-term recovery for these communities.

    As part of that long-term response, my Government worked with local councils to develop a $220 million Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements Category D application for key projects.

    Projects included:

    • $60M Resilient infrastructure (betterment) package;
    • $10M economic package;
    • $15M environmental recovery package; and a
    • $135M Local Councils Package for: 
      • South Rockhampton’s Flood Levee
      • The reconstruction of Shute Harbour
      • Whitsundays/Proserpine airport
      • Revitalisation of Airlie Beach Foreshore
      • Bluewater Trail and Queens Park redevelopment

    My Government committed to pay half of those costs - $110 million, with the Federal Government to match it.

    Despite having the application for two months, the Prime Minister wrote to me last month to say and I quote:

    “Unfortunately, the remaining projects proposed are not suitable for funding as they fall outside of the scope of the NDRRA or because there has not been enough evidence provided to establish the need for the measure.”

    Shamefully, when the Prime Minister was asked about his decision, he accused Queensland – represented by my Government and councils – of using the NDRRA program as a slush fund.

    Prime Minister, the damage from Debbie was real, the need is real and your response was unbelievable.

    I again urge Malcolm Turnbull to reconsider the cold hearted decision.          

    Malcolm Turnbull is due in north Queensland next week.

    I urge him to visit the communities devastated by Debbie and see first-hand the need for extra Category D assistance.

    My Government’s commitment of $110 million stands.

    We stand with Queenslanders through the immediate response, the long-term recovery and reconstruction.

    The Prime Minister can find $122 million for a postal vote on same-sex marriage, but he cannot find $110 million for Queensland communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

    Same-sex marriage could be decided by a free vote in the Federal Parliament, just as this Parliament voted to restore civil partnership ceremonies.            

    Same-sex marriage can be decided in Parliament, but the recovery from Tropical Cyclone Debbie can only be done in the affected communities.