North Qld community shines in wake of floods

Nearly four months on from the North Queensland flooding disaster, hundreds of millions of dollars in government assistance has been distributed as well as $10 million in donations through the North Queensland Flood Appeal charities.

On a visit to Townsville Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk noted the hard work from all levels of governments, local organisations and the community who were continuing the region’s recovery efforts.

“We have not forgotten what our communities have been through and we have remained by their side every step of the way through their ongoing recovery,” the Premier said.

To date:

  • More than 116,000 people have received Personal Hardship Assistance Grants totalling over $32 million.
  • Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants to eligible small business increased from $25,000 to $50,000, and to eligible primary producers from $25,000 to $75,000.
  • QRIDA has approved almost $65 million in grants with $500,000 going to non-profits, $4.9 million to small businesses and $59.4 million to primary producers.
  • Donations to the North Queensland Floods Appeal have now grown to more than $10 million
  • 400 rail workers laboured 160,000 hours to re-open the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail which they did in just 11 weeks. This was not a small undertaking, with more than 200 sites across 300 kilometres of rail needing repair on what is a vital transport route for our State.

The Palaszczuk Government also secured matching funding from the Federal Government for a $242 million exceptional circumstances package which includes infrastructure, business and industry support, tourism recovery and improved flood mapping and warnings.

Of this package – $22 million is for the North West Queensland Cattle Industry Recovery Package to help farm businesses in their recovery.

“This is what standing up for Queensland looks like,” the Premier said.

“It takes a particular strength to endue these disasters. I don’t think we could do it if we weren’t also the kind of people who take care of each other.”

Other actions:

  • 8400 damage assessments were completed straight after the floods with 3800 follow-up damage assessments completed earlier this month.
  • Of the more than 1400 properties recorded as uninhabitable, work is now underway on more than 1300 of them.
  • More than 3600 landholders across 18 local government areas will also get a $6.4 million plus land rent reprieve, with rent due between 1 March and 30 November 2019 automatically deferred for up to nine months.
  • The mental well-being of affected communities hasn’t been forgotten either with more than 63,000 provided with support and NQ Connect continue to provide a free telephone counselling helpline 24/7 for anyone affected in north-west Queensland.

“Queenslanders are no stranger to natural disasters. And the silver lining is the way we come together to get through whatever mother nature throws at us,” the Premier said.

/Public Release. View in full here.