Published Friday, 10 March, 2023 at 04:45 PM

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

  • Disaster assistance is now available to a further six flooded local government areas across Northern and Central Queensland following extreme monsoonal rainfall.
  • Personal hardship payments are also available to cover the costs of essential items for individuals and families in Burke Shire.

Disaster assistance is now available in a further six flooded Local Government Areas (LGAs) across Northern and Central Queensland following extreme monsoonal rainfall.

With rain and isolated thunderstorms continuing in parts of Queensland and ongoing flood waters causing road closures and distribution issues, the LGAs of: Central Highlands, Hope Vale, Livingstone, McKinlay, Richmond and Torres Shire will receive support through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to cover clean up and repair costs.

The DRFA relief measures activated include counter disaster operations aimed at ensuring public safety and cover the costs of debris clean-up, and the restoration of essential public assets to repair roads and bridges damaged by the severe rain event.

In addition, immediate personal hardship payments to cover the costs of essential items for individuals and families, as well as funding for the reconnection of essential services are now available for residents in Burke Shire who were forced to evacuate to avoid rising floodwaters. Council support for the Burke region was already available through an earlier activation.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the severe weather had been impacting Queensland since late last year.

“This is an ongoing severe weather event that is continuing to inundate communities right across Northern Australia, and I appreciate those on the ground helping to rescue those stuck in floodwaters” Minister Watt said.

““As areas are impacted, the Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments are extending help to local councils which enables them to clean up debris, landslides and fallen trees blocking roads to help communities reconnect as soon as possible.

“We are urging those experiencing heavy rainfall to please use caution, listen to warnings, and have an evacuation plan ready.”

Quotes attributable to the Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan:

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the latest six activations brought the number of LGAs receiving assistance to 39.

“The Queensland Government is also working to provide assistance with supply issues for communities in the Gulf region who remain isolated after several weeks.

“Residents in Burke Shire who evacuated can now access payments of up to $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five to cover the costs of essential items such as medicine, food and clothing.

“In addition, grants to cover the costs of safely reconnecting essential services such as gas and electricity will also be available once the floodwaters go down.

“With more heavy rain predicted across the Gulf, Far North and North West Queensland this week, it is important that local governments have access to disaster recovery assistance when the water has receded and the damage can be assessed.”

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:

For information on Personal Hardship Assistance and the Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme, contact the Community Recovery Hotline 1800 173 349 or visit www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies.

Following this extension, jointly funded assistance under the DRFA is now available in 39 local government areas in Queensland: Aurukun, Barcaldine, Barcoo, Blackall-Tambo, Boulia, Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Central Highlands, Cloncurry, Cook, Croydon, Diamantina, Doomadgee, Douglas, Etheridge, Flinders, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Livingstone, Lockhart River, Longreach, Mackay, Mapoon, Mareeba, McKinlay, Mornington, Mount Isa, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area, Palm Island, Pormpuraaw, Richmond, Tablelands, Torres Shire, Townsville, Whitsunday, and Winton.

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.


Minister Watt: Tali Eley 0499 770 772

Office of Minister Ryan: (07) 3035 8300