Published Monday, 07 February, 2022 at 09:30 AM

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Disaster assistance is now available to speed up the recovery of eight regional communities in Western Queensland affected by extreme rainfall and flooding last month.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the DRFA will provide financial support for Barcoo, Boulia, Bulloo, Cloncurry, Diamantina, Mount Isa, Quilpie and Winton Shire Councils to carry out counter disaster operations and restore essential public assets damaged by the event.

“A low pressure trough developed over much of Western Queensland from 19-24 January 2022, leading to heavy rainfall and destructive riverine and flash flooding throughout the region,” Minister McKenzie said.

“This resulted in closed roads and isolated communities, with many property owners stranded at stations until the waters went down, revealing damage to the local road network.

“The disaster assistance announced today will ensure these councils can cover the costs associated with the clean-up and the restoration of public infrastructure, including roads, damaged by the floods,” Minister McKenzie said.

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the assistance was there to help those communities impacted get back on the road to recovery sooner.

“Even though the rain is welcome in this drought-impacted region, floods can cause an enormous amount of havoc and destruction,” Minister Ryan said.

“With roads being closed due to the floods, food supplies are running low for remote communities like Bedourie, Birdsville and Thargomindah, some of which are without mobile and landline services until crews can get in for repairs.

“Even as wild weather dumped rain across much of the South-East this past week, the Queensland and Australian governments are working closely to ensure no disaster-affected community, including those in the remote parts of Western Queensland, are left to manage disaster clean up on their own.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation across Queensland as the 2021-22 disaster season continues and will work closely with the Commonwealth to support other communities as required,” he said.

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au.

Media contacts:

Minister McKenzie: David Edghill 0477 471 516

Minister Ryan: Phil Willmington 0411 535 180