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    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROCESS SAYS BLIGH

    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROCESS SAYS BLIGH

    Premier Anna Bligh today apologised for unacceptable delays to Queenslanders who are waiting for funds from the Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal and ordered that the process be overhauled.  

     

    "Around 100 people are working on processing applications, and if more resources are needed then I have directed they be made available," said Ms Bligh.

     

    The Premier said she was concerned and disappointed that some Queenslanders in the worst affected flood regions had still not received payment from the fund weeks after the event. 

     

    "There are now new arrangements in place,” she said.

     

    "Checking these applications is important, but people are more important than process.

     

    "The Communities Department will now verify inundation within 48 hours of receipt of applications from Centrelink.

     

    "Centrelink will then pay claims within 24 hours of that confirmation and this should dramatically speed up the payment process.

     

    "Australians have given selflessly and generously in the belief that these funds would reach those affected as soon as possible.

     

    "We are talking about people who have lost family members, lost their homes, lost their possessions and they don't deserve to be losing again because a bureaucratic process is needlessly slowing down payments given by their fellow Australians.

     

    "We've experienced dual natural disasters beyond the magnitude of anything we have experienced in history, were administering our largest ever disaster fund to many thousands of victims and clearly to date we have not got it right.  My job now is to fix it.

     

    "That's why I have demanded that the turnaround for payments be reduced.”

     

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