The Queensland Government is ramping up its efforts to support Queenslanders affected by bushfires, with financial assistance and support services now extended to residents in more impacted communities.
Acting Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said many residents across the Rockhampton, Gladstone and Mackay council areas had faced an incredibly traumatic and stressful time as bushfires approached their communities and homes.
“The past few days have been some of the toughest we’ve faced in our state, and the danger has not yet passed for many Queenslanders,” Ms Fentiman said.
“But Queenslanders look out for one another, and I want to reassure residents that the Queensland Government will help them recover from these devastating bushfires.
“Through jointly-funded Commonwealth/State-Disaster Relief Funding Arrangements (DRFA), we are providing Emergency Hardship Assistance grants to help cover the costs of essential items, such as food and clothing, for people directly impacted by this disaster.”
Financial assistance of up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, is now available to people experiencing genuine financial hardship as a result of the bushfires.
The new areas that have been activated are:
- Gracemere, Stanwell and Kabra
- Mt. Larcom and Ambrose
- Eungella, Dalrymple Heights, Finch Hatton, Crediton and Netherdale
- Campwin Beach and Sarina Beach.
The suburbs of Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach, Oyster Creek and Taunton were activated on Tuesday 27 November.
Ms Fentiman said Ready Reserve staff were continuing to be deployed to support locally-led community recovery efforts, with more expected to be deployed over the coming days.
Our Ready Reserve staff will support locals access grants and connect them to support services on the ground.
“Eighteen Ready Reserves and 10 non-government support recovery workers are currently working in Miriam Vale to support affected residents from surrounding areas,” she said.
“Five Ready Reserves and non-government support recovery workers are currently at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre.
“A further 20 Ready Reserves are due to arrive in Rockhampton today.
Ms Fentiman said people could download the Self Recovery app for information or to apply for grants, including Emergency Hardship Grants.
“Grant applications for emergency hardship assistance can be completed through the Community Recovery online portal at www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au,” she said.
“Residents without internet access can ring the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 to apply for grants and for advice on how to access support services over the phone.”
Other grants such the Essential Household Contents Grant, Structural Assistance Grant and Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant are also available to eligible residents who are uninsured and have experienced certain loss or damage following this disaster.
Queenslander’s wanting to lend their own support to individuals and families impacted by these unprecedented bushfires can do so through Givit. Givit is coordinating all donations on behalf of the Queensland Government and affected Regional Councils. People can donations at www.givit.org.au