FNQ information sessions to be held about $20 million program protecting homes against cyclones

Community information sessions will be held in Cairns this week to inform eligible low-income residents in cyclone-prone areas about how they can apply for grants of up to $11,250 to better-protect their homes.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy will speak to homeowners about the Palaszczuk Government’s $20 million Household Resilience Program at the Cairns Local Disaster Coordination Centre in Woree between 6pm-7pm on Wednesday.

“Residents in Cairns, Bundaberg, Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton, Cape York and west to the Northern Territory border are living in cyclone country,” Mr Healy said.

“These $11,250 grants are available for eligible home owners and can be used to fund up to 75 per cent of the value of repairs or upgrades to their house.”

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the funds could help save lives during cyclone season.

“The state’s far north is no stranger to severe weather – and the destruction and heartache that can come with it,” Mr Crawford said. “Getting a grant for roof tie-downs for example, could help save a life.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the Household Resilience Program was funded in the 2017-18 State Budget to start helping low-income households in pre-1980s dwellings to improve their resistance in cyclones.

“The program will allow help low-income households wanting to take preventative measures that should flow through to lower insurance premiums.

“The Household Resilience Program is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to make Queensland the most disaster resilient state in Australia.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the program would close when the $20 million in funding was fully committed.

“These Palaszczuk Government grants will benefit regional communities and could reduce home insurance premiums,” she said.

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said there had been more than 800 applications for funding up until October 22, including 162 in Cairns.

Mr de Brenni said applicants would be income tested to ensure the money reached the people who needed it most.

“They must live in a cyclone-risk area within 50km from the coast and own, or be the mortgagor, of a house built before 1984,” he said. “Approved applicants will be required to make a minimum 25 per cent co-contribution towards work on their home.”

A community session will also be held at the Cairns Local Disaster Coordination Centre in Woree between 6pm and 7pm on Thursday.

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