Disaster assistance available for flood-impacted 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 for nine local government areas in remote Far North Queensland impacted by flooding brought on by a Tropical Low in late January.

The councils of Aurukun, Cook, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Napranum, Northern Peninsula Area, Pormpuraaw, Torres Shire and Torres Strait Island Regional Council are eligible for financial assistance under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Tropical Low had caused a lot of damage to communities and the repairs have been extensive and expensive.

“These communities have reported impacts from the floods such as uprooted trees, road and bridge damage from swollen rivers and isolation due to flooded access points,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Queensland has again earned its unenviable reputation as the most disaster impacted state in the nation, with a Tropical Low in the Gulf of Carpentaria bringing even more rain to a region already sodden by Tropical Cyclone Imogen.

“I know that communities in the region are resilient and, with the support of the Australian and Queensland governments, they will recover strongly from this latest set-back.”

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the severe weather system had seen rivers burst their banks across Cape York and cause damage in the far north.

“Cape York communities breathed a sigh of relief when the Low failed to form into a Tropical Cyclone, but the weather system dumped a significant amount of rain over the last week of January into already swollen catchments,” Minister Ryan said.

“The flooding associated with this Tropical Low has damaged essential public assets, such as roads and bridges, and isolated many communities who have only just seen the waters go down after Tropical Cyclone Imogen.

“This funding will help these local government areas alleviate the cost of counter disaster operations such as sand-bagging, tree clearing and repairing damage to the local road network.

“The Australian and Queensland governments will continue to work together to support 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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