Disaster assistance has been extended to the remote communities of Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council, Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council and Torres Shire Council as the extent of damage caused by the Queensland floods continues to be realised.
In addition, affected primary producers in the Whitsunday region are now able to access low interest loans of up to $250,000 and freight subsidies of up to $5000.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said remote communities in Far North Queensland had not been spared in the wide-ranging floods.
“Through the DRFA, these communities can now access assistance to help alleviate operational costs and assist with the cost of clean-up and repairs,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
“Affected primary producers in the Whitsundays can now access low interest disaster assistance and essential working capital loans to help them continue operating their agricultural enterprises.
“These DRFA assistance measures are in addition to those already available in Torres Shire and Whitsunday Regional Councils.”
Mr Crawford said the Commonwealth and Queensland governments were working closely together to ensure assistance was targeted towards those who needed it.
“The size and scale of this flooding event is enormous and it’s important we are able to provide assistance to help these impacted communities get back on their feet,” Mr Crawford said.
“The addition of Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council and Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council brings the number of councils activated for disaster funding for this event to 37.
“As we move from the response to the recovery phase, both the Commonwealth and State are working hard to ensure that all councils receive the helping hand they need to recover.”
A range of DRFA assistance is now available in 37 local government areas: Barcoo, Boulia, Burdekin, Burke, Cairns, Carpentaria, Cassowary Coast, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Cook, Croydon, Diamantina, Douglas, Etheridge, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Longreach, Mackay, Mapoon, Mareeba, McKinlay, Mornington, Mount Isa, Napranum, Palm Island, Pormpuraaw, Richmond, Torres Strait Island, Torres Shire, Townsville, Whitsunday, Winton, Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah.
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au.