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Hardship Grants For Fire Victims

Filed under Breaking News, Latest News, Rural

Firefighters at the Deongwar State Forest in Somerset Regional Council area earlier this week
(Photo: QFES)

Natural Disaster Minister
David Littleproud

November 22, 2019

Personal Hardship Assistance grants are now available to some residents of Redbank Creek and Biarra in the Somerset Regional Council area.

The grants are to help people in streets affected by the large Ravensbourne fire which extended along the Esk-Hampton and Esk-Crows Nest roads from Deongwar State Forest towards Esk.

The Personal Hardship Assistance grants are $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 per family.

The Somerset council area has been hit hard in the recent fires with emergencies in the Jimna, Monsildale and Avoca Vale areas but homes have only been confirmed lost from the Ravensbourne fire.

The assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

“These grants will give those worst-hit by the fires dignity and help them back on their feet,” Natural Disaster and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said.

“This is cash in the hand to cover the immediate needs of families and individuals, such as food, clothing and shelter.

“Assistance is also available for people in hardship so they can safely turn the power and other utilities back on after the fires.

“We will keep supporting fire-hit communities and make further assistance available as needed.”

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said Somerset had experienced significant damage to houses and other structures along a number of roads.

“Impacted residents in targeted areas of the Somerset local government area will have access to the grants,” Minister Crawford said.

“The activation of the DRFA will ensure all fire-impacted communities have the support they need during these challenging times.”

More information on Personal Hardship Assistance is available by calling the Community Recovery Hotline 1800-173-349 or at www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies

Information on disaster assistance can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au

*  *  *

Payments of $1000 per adult and $400 per child are also available for those worst-hit by bushfires in the Somerset Region through the Federal Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment.

“This is for people whose home has been severely damaged or destroyed, who’ve been seriously injured or who’ve lost a family member,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This support package is on top of the grants that have already been announced.”

Claims will be open from Friday (November 22).

For more information or to make a claim visit www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster or call 180-22-66.

*  *  *

At 7:00pm on Friday, “Stay Informed: Advice” warnings were still in place for the Ravensbourne, Redbank Creek and Cressbrook Creek fires, all part of the original Pechy blaze.

QFES said fires continued to burn between Ravensbourne and the outskirts of Crows Nest and within containment lines in the Deongwar State Forest and Redbank Creek areas. 

A bushfire was smouldering on both sides of Esk-Hampton Road between Horrex Road and Brennan Road, with small areas of fire continuing to actively burn.

Parts of Esk-Hampton Road remained closed to through traffic. The safety of this road will be assessed over the coming days.

Local council teams have been assessing trees and cleaning up around roads and structures to safely reopen roads in the coming days.

Motorists travelling northbound on Perseverance Dam Road have been advised there are road closures in place at the Perseverance Dam Road and Grapetree Road intersection.

Road closures remain in place for motorists heading east on Three Mile Road, at the Jones Road intersection.

Seventeen Mile Road, beyond Walsh Road, also remains closed. Sebastapool Road, between Dahl Road and Bluff Road, is also closed.

Large trees and other debris have fallen across roads, so motorists should drive with caution and to conditions.

Evacuation centres remain open at the Crows Nest Showgrounds and at Highfields Recreation Centre.

[UPDATED]


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