Disaster assistance available for communities in Far North Queensland

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

Disaster assistance is now available in five local government areas in Far North Queensland impacted by heavy rainfall and flooding in April.

Financial assistance is available in the Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Douglas, Mareeba and Yarrabah local government areas under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the funding will assist with clean-up activities and the restoration of essential public infrastructure after rainfall and flooding caused landslides, damaged roads and left communities isolated.

“The Bruce Highway was cut between Cardwell and Ingham as was Gilles Range Road, which is the main link between Atherton and the coast,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The region was heavily inundated causing several rivers to burst their banks, with more than half a metre of rain falling at Mount Sophia south of Cairns.

“This is the third disaster event to hit the region this year alone, following Tropical Cyclones Imogen and Niran.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments will continue to stand by these communities and support their recovery efforts so that they can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the severe weather system had prompted dozens of calls for assistance to emergency services.

“While the weather system did not develop into a tropical cyclone, it dumped tremendous amounts of water over an extended period of time,” Minister Ryan said.

“We know that these areas are used to a lot of rain but the levels seen during the event soaked the road base and resulted in significant damage.

“This funding will help these local government areas cover the cost of essential repairs to roads and other public infrastructure.

“The Australian and Queensland Governments are committed to supporting the long-term recovery of communities impacted by natural disasters in Queensland.”

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.

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