Further bushfire assistance for Central Queensland communities

Disaster assistance has been extended to help cover the costs of fighting bushfires in the communities of Bundaberg, Central Highlands and Isaac as well as extending recovery assistance to areas in Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton.

In addition, assistance is now available to help impacted primary producers in Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton recover from the unprecedented ongoing bushfire situation.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is in addition to the assistance already available for communities in Central Queensland.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the bushfire situation in Central Queensland has had significant impact on communities, including primary producers in the region.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland governments continue to work closely to support ongoing recovery efforts and identify where further assistance can be provided,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.

“Counter Disaster Operations assistance has been extended to help fight the fires in the Bundaberg, Central Highlands and Isaac regions.

“Assistance is now also available to alleviate personal hardship and assist the safe reconnection of essential services in the suburbs of Winfield in Bundaberg, Captains Creek in Gladstone, and Alton Downs and Nine Mile in Rockhampton.”

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said in addition to the community recovery measures, the recovery of primary producers impacted by the fires was paramount for all levels of government.

“Primary industries are the life-blood of Central Queensland and we are very pleased to be able to activate these assistance measure under the DRFA,” Minister Crawford said.

“It will allow impacted primary producers in Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton access to concessional loans of up to $250,000, essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 and freight subsidies of up to $5,000.

“Disaster assistance has now been made available to seven local government areas in response to this unprecedented bushfire event.

“As the situation continues to unfold, we are working with the Commonwealth to ensure DRFA assistance is targeted to the sectors and communities that need it most.”

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.

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