$771 million package to help disaster affected Queenslanders clean-up and improve household resilience
Published Saturday, 19 March, 2022 at 02:55 PM
Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
Queensland’s largest ever extraordinary disaster assistance package will fast-track remaining clean-up efforts and help affected Queenslanders whose homes have been ravaged by floods during the unrelenting 2021-22 flooding season.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has written to the Prime Minister today offering to split the funding package 50:50.
The $741 million Resilient Residential Recovery Package will provide Queenslanders whose homes have been badly damaged by flooding with a range of options that may include retrofitting, house raising or the voluntary buy-back of homes at high risk from future floods.
Meanwhile a $30 million Clean-Up Package will support councils and agencies with the clean-up of flood-related debris including commercial, building and housing debris that’s not normally eligible for reimbursement.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the package marked the next wave of financial support to ensure flood-affected communities in Queensland get the support they need to recover and build back better.
“While this event was very different to that seen in 2011, it certainly is of the same scale, if not larger. Queensland has been absolutely battered and the damage and devastation of the 2021-22 disaster season has seen flooding hit much of the state,” she said.
“Some of these communities, like Gympie and the Fraser Coast, were still reeling from flooding in December and January when the recent South East Queensland flooding disaster hit.
“Councils, communities and the Australian Defence Force have done a magnificent job working together to clean-up, but there’s still a way to go and this $30 million Clean Up Package will give councils and agencies an extra boost to finish the mammoth task of removing the huge amount of waste and debris that has accumulated throughout the impact zone.
“This package builds upon the $558 million grants package announced earlier this month to help small businesses, primary producers, and not-for-profit organisations rebuild from the floods, as well as initial clean-up and recovery payments to the hardest hit councils,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This is the biggest single disaster support package in Queensland’s history and it reflects not only the immediate challenge in terms of cleaning up and rebuilding but the longer-term need to increase resilience in Queensland communities.”
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said many Queenslanders had been severely tested by the floods this disaster season, but the government was committed to building stronger and safer communities.
“I have been to many of the hardest hit communities and I have repeatedly seen the harsh reality of families’ belongings sitting on the curb, and houses ravaged by floodwaters,” Mr Miles said.
“Sadly, the floods have damaged almost 7,000 homes. This support package of $741 million will deliver a range of household resilience measures for Queensland homes directly impacted by floods in the 2021-22 season.
“As the recent disaster unfolded, and in the immediate aftermath, we have not only been looking at the immediate needs, but also on the bigger picture and the overwhelming feedback is that we need to build more resilient communities. We hope this package can truly help change the lives of affected Queenslanders following the devastation of this disaster season.”
As part of this proposal, the Queensland Government has also advised the Commonwealth that it will lift its Category A Structural Assistance Grants from up to $14,684 to up to $50,000 for eligible Queensland households to assist those with significant structural damage to their homes.
The Resilient Residential Recovery Program and the increase to Structural Assistance Grants will be available for residential properties directly impacted by South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding 22 – 7 March 2022, the Central, Southern and Western Queensland Rainfall and Flooding 10 November – 3 December 2021 and Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth, 29 December 2021 – 10 January 2022.
The $30 million clean-up program will be available in to councils and state agencies affected by the South East Queensland floods to cover extraordinary costs not eligible under the DRFA including, but not limited to, business, commercial, agricultural, industrial and residential areas, natural assets, and community, cultural sporting and recreational facilities.
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au
Katharine Wright – 0428 957 903