January 11, 2022
A range of disaster assistance measures are now available in the South Burnett, Cherbourg, Gympie and Fraser Coast council areas following the devastating heavy rainfall and flooding associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth.
Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien said the new assistance was being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
“Personal Hardship Assistance payments are now available to support impacted residents in the hardest hit areas of Maryborough, Tiaro, Bauple, Gundiah and Glenwood in the Fraser Coast and the localities of Goomeri, Kilkivan, Tansey, Miva, Woolooga, Theebine, Gunalda and Booubyjan in the Gympie region,” Mr O’Brien said.
“These are grants of up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, as well as grants to safely reconnect essential services.
“Heavy rainfall in many parts of the Wide Bay electorate has caused major damage. Further impacts are being assessed as we move into the clean-up and recovery phase.
“We know that the severe flooding has tragically resulted in the loss of life, in people being evacuated from their homes, and in significant damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
“The last few days have been a particularly difficult time for so many people throughout Wide Bay.
“Nothing can replace the stock and crops that have been lost, the loss of trade for businesses, damaged and destroyed personal effects, and the absence from loved ones that the floods have caused, but these payments and allowances will hopefully help to ease some of the burden from this natural disaster.
“Low-interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to help flood-impacted primary producers and small businesses in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett to get back on their feet as soon as possible.
“In recognition of the impact the floods are having on the local economy, freight subsidies of up to $5000 will also be made available to eligible primary producers in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett who experienced inundation.
“Assistance is also being made available through the DRFA to help the Cherbourg, Fraser Coast and Gympie local councils cover the cost of clean-up efforts and the repair of essential public infrastructure.”
He said the Fraser Coast and Gympie council areas had been at the centre of this emergency, with homes and business submerged.
“Up to 70 businesses and 80 homes in Maryborough have experienced inundation, but the hard work put in by the Fraser Coast Council and emergency services has thankfully limited the damage,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The activation of this DRFA assistance is the first for this event and Local and State Government agencies are working to assess the impact of the floods.
“The Australian Government is ready to provide further assistance where necessary to ensure impacted communities receive all the support they need to recover and rebuild.”
More information about Personal Hardship Assistance is available online or by contacting the Community Recovery Hotline 1800-173-349.
Information about loans for primary producers and small businesses is available on the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority website or by phoning 1800-623-946.
UPDATE January 12: The North Burnett and Bundaberg LGAs have been added to the disaster assistance coverage.