More than $100 million in grants and loans has been approved for the North Queensland flood recovery effort, with the Morrison Government today announcing a further $5 million to tackle a land-destroying weed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his team had been working closely with the local community to support the recovery and clean up in the six months since the devastating monsoon flood.
“We all knew this would be tough but we’re committed to being here for North Queenslanders every step of the way in the recovery,” the Prime Minister said.
“From the immediate disaster recovery support to the mental health support and infrastructure grants and loans to this funding to combat prickly acacia, this is about ensuring we have a long-term reconstruction plan in place.”
LNP Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said he was in constant contact between the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency the Morrison Government had established as well as Ministers who could help address issues that locals were raising with him and his office.
“I know we can rebuild bigger and better than we were even before these floods,” Mr Thompson said.
“As the new local Federal Member it’s my job to make sure everyone who needs support is getting support for this recovery and I’ve been getting out to speak directly to as many people as I can who have been affected to make sure no stone is left unturned.”
Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said the Commonwealth’s $5 million to fight prickly acacia would flow to areas in greatest need to tackle this invasive pest, with or without the backing from the Queensland Government for the $5 million they had pledged.
“These floods didn’t just have a devastating immediate impact, but with prickly acacia springing up after it was washed into new areas it’s clear there are still consequences we need to keep on the lookout for,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Tackling this invasive weed to help North Queensland should be above politicking. We’re getting on with the job and won’t be waiting for the state Labor Government to stump up to their promise.”
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said with more than $3.3 billion committed to help with the North Queensland flood recovery on the table there had been a steady take-up in the loans and grants on offer.
“This is an investment in hard-working Queenslanders,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We’ve already approved $100 million in grants and loans for people who are ready to rebuild. We’ve put a lot of money on the table because we know there’s no quick fix and we’re in it for the long-haul.”
The Morrison Government has committed more than $3.3 billion to assist people, businesses and communities affected, including $118 million already paid to close to 100,000 applicants in Disaster Recovery Payments and Disaster Recovery Allowances, $4 million to non-government and boarding schools impacted by floods, and $2.6 million for mental health support.
The North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency (NQLIRA), led by Shane Stone AC PGDK QC, is coordinating the Australian Government’s response. The Agency is now working with communities to develop a strategy for the long-term recovery of the region and its preparedness for future events.