The overwhelming support for Queensland’s flood affected communities continues with donations to the North Queensland Floods Appeal reaching more than $6.7 million in the two weeks since it was launched.
$13.9 million in government grants has also gone to 71,000 people for Emergency Hardship Assistance.
The Premier, who has spent the last couple of days inspecting recovery efforts in the north and north west, thanked people for their generous donations and encouraged others who were thinking of helping to dig deep.
“The flood waters may be gone in most parts, what I’ve heard from speaking with people in these communities who were badly impacted is that they’re hurting, they will be dealing with this disaster for a long time to come,” the Premier said.
“We’re doing all we can to help, and I’m thankful for the community’s support as well. We’re all in this together and we’re in it for the long haul.”
The Premier was joined by Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner, State Recovery Coordinator Major-General Stuart Smith and QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll in Julia Creek and also Communities Minister and Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke and State Development Minister Cameron Dick in Townsville.
“Recovery is progressing but there is lots more work that needs to be done,” the Premier said.
“I know Major General Stuart Smith has been out and about in communities seeing first-hand how recovery efforts are going and what more is needed.
“We’re maintaining a strong focus on helping communities affected by flooding recover.
“This includes making sure people have a roof over their head, they are receiving the mental health support they need and we’re starting the process of rebuilding infrastructure.
“There are more than 730 staff working on community recovery statewide.”
State Recovery Coordinator Major General Smith said in the past seven days he had conducted comprehensive visits and liaison with disaster affected communities and local leaders in Townsville and Western Queensland.
“I have been highly impressed with their leadership during the response to the disaster and the work of the emergency services, police and Australian Defence Force,” Major General Smith said.
“It’s clear to me that the first priority for recovery is looking after the safety and wellbeing of people and we have already begun this process through the establishment of Community Recovery Hubs, a one-stop-shop for people to access funding assistance and grants and to connect with other assistance.
“I have established myself in Townsville with a Deputy State Recovery Coordinator, Queensland Police Superintendent Mark Plath, and support staff from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and will remain directly responsive to local leaders as we now plan the long-term recovery.
“There will be different priorities for all of the impacted communities and it’s important we support each of them on their road to recovery.
“It’s vitally important people affected by the flooding know there is support available to them and that they access that assistance.”
To date, the State Recovery Coordinator has visited Townsville, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island, Burdekin, Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Richmond and Flinders council areas.
71,000 people have benefitted from more than $13.9 million in Emergency Hardship Assistance payments.
North Queensland Floods Appeal charities have received more than $6.7 million in donations.
GIVIT has helped facilitate the donation of more than 100,000 items to community members.