Published Thursday, 17 March, 2022 at 01:00 PM

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

Disaster assistance has been extended to the local government area of Balonne following the extreme rainfall and flooding across much of southern Queensland in late February and early March.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said there were now 23 councils activated for jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) assistance in response to the unfolding event.

“The rainfall and subsequent flooding that occurred caused devastation throughout southern Queensland on a scale that hasn’t been seen since 2011,” Minister McKenzie said.

“This assistance will help Balonne Shire Council conduct counter disaster operations as required, as well as repair the damage to public infrastructure that is now being revealed by the receding flood waters.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments will continue to work together to assist local governments and provide whatever additional assistance is required to help them with their recovery which we know will take time,” Minister McKenzie said.

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said that while the rain had stopped, the clean-up was only just beginning.

“As the skies clear and the water dries up the long road to recovery begins. This next phase will not be measured in days, weeks or even months– it will be years before we can truly say we have recovered from this event,” Mr Ryan said.

“As the flood waters clear we are only now starting to build a picture of the true impacts of the floods.

“In Balonne, the floods have cut roads and inundated bridges, isolating the community and causing a great deal of damage and heartache.

“The coming weeks and months will be especially difficult as people take stock of what they have lost but know the Queensland and Australian governments will be here to offer support for as long as it is needed,” he said.

To date, 23 local government areas have been activated for DRFA assistance for this event including for Balonne, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Gladstone, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Western Downs.

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au