Disaster support measures for communities hit by Tropical Cyclone Jasper

Published Friday, 15 December, 2023 at 07:30 AM

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

  • Disaster assistance has been activated to cover the costs of response operations and repairs for local councils impacted by Tropical Cyclone Jasper.
  • Support is available to the councils of Cairns, Cook, Douglas, Hopevale, Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah.
  • People living in Douglas and Wujal Wujal LGAs can also apply for Personal Hardship Assistance and the Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme.
  • Personal Hardship Assistance grants can be used to purchase essential items and reconnect damaged household services.

The Federal and Queensland Governments have activated jointly-funded disaster assistance under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) to support individuals and Councils impacted by Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

The councils of Cairns, Cook, Douglas, Hopevale and Wujal Wujal have been activated for support to assist with counter disaster operations and the reconstruction of essential public assets, while Yarrabah council can use funding for counter disaster activities also.

Residents of Douglas and Wujal Wujal can also apply for the Personal Hardship Assistance grants, with $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five or more available to cover the costs of essentials like food, clothing and medicine. The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme is also available to help homeowners in those areas to help reconnect electricity, gas, water or sewerage.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper crossed the coast near Wujal Wujal in Far North Queensland late yesterday. While the full extent of damage is being assessed, the activation of immediate disaster assistance will enable local councils to manage their response and urgent recovery needs for their communities.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

The impacts of Tropical Cyclone Jasper are still being determined but we want to give communities the best opportunity to respond and recover quickly,” Minister Watt said. 

“Working closely with the Queensland Government, we have activated this assistance for councils through DRFA to relieve the financial pressure of getting on with important work to ensure communities are safe.

“I want to thank all emergency services agencies and the people of Far North Queensland for their energy and commitment in preparing for this tropical cyclone, and I urge them to stay safe in the coming days.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier and minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles:

“Far North Queenslanders have done a remarkable job preparing for and responding to Tropical Cyclone Jasper,” Mr Miles said.

“The amount of effort and cooperation between government agencies, emergency services, local councils and communities has been remarkable. 

“Now the immediate danger of has passed we can get on with the recovery works, and these DRFA measures we’re announcing today will help the region clean-up and get back to their daily life.

“With rains persisting and many powerlines down we ask residents to act with caution, particularly if they need to be on the road. Follow the advice of councils and emergency services, and if it’s flooded, forget it.

“Through the Queensland Reconstruction Authority we’ll continue to lead recovery from Tropical Cyclone Jasper.”

Additional information on assistance available:

Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme

  • Emergency Hardship Assistance Grant – provides assistance as a contribution to support people directly impacted by an eligible disaster to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.
  • Essential Services Hardship Assistance – provides assistance for people directly impacted by an eligible disaster to meet their immediate needs where they have experienced the loss of one or more essential services for more than five days.
  • Essential Household Contents Grant – provides a contribution towards replacing or repairing essential household contents, such as beds, linen and whitegoods that have been lost or damaged by an eligible disaster.
  • Structural Assistance Grant – provides a contribution towards repairs or replacement of a dwelling damaged by an eligible disaster, to return it to a safe, habitable and secure condition.

Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme

To assist residents with the inspection and reconnection of essential services that have been damaged by an eligible disaster. The scheme provides financial assistance to individuals and families as a contribution towards safety inspections of and repairs to residential essential services (i.e. electricity, gas, water and sewerage) damaged by an eligible disaster.

Further information on disaster assistance can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au or www.qld.gov.au/disasterhelp.

People requiring immediate assistance can contact the Queensland Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

To learn more about DRFA support head to the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.


Media contacts:

Minister Watt: Tali Eley 0499 770 772

Deputy Premier: Amy Hunter 0423 651 484