Tuesday, 28 November 2023
Media release

New and extended support measures for bushfire-impacted NQ communities

Joint media release with the Hon Steven Miles MP

The councils of Cook, Mareeba and Tablelands can now access counter disaster operations assistance through the Commonwealth-state Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Councils can use this new support to cover the extraordinary expenses associated with disaster response and community recovery, including firefighting operations, incident management and the establishment of control centres.

Impacted residents in the Mareeba localities of Arriga, Chewko, Dimbulah, Glen Russell, Mutchilba and Paddys Green can now also access financial support through the jointly funded Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme.

Personal Hardship Assistance provides $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five or more to cover the costs of essentials like food, clothing and medicine.

All three local governments have battled bushfires through October and November, with parts of Mareeba and Tablelands already activated for Personal Hardship Assistance and the Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

“Assistance like this helps relieve financial pressures on regional councils, enabling them to focus on the needs of their communities following a disaster event.”

“Local frontline services have done a fantastic job containing recent fires and caring for residents in need and I want to acknowledge their work and thank them for their efforts.

“Helping to cover the costs of essential items for affected people as they get back on their feet is another way the Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments are supporting communities impacted by these fires.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Steven Miles:

“With more information coming through from Mareeba regarding the impacts of recent bushfires, we’ve extended access to Personal Hardship Assistance grants for more residents.”

“These are payments of $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five or more to cover the costs of essentials like food, clothing and medicine, and can be accessed by calling the Queensland Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

“Uninsured residents may also be eligible for up to $5,000 through the Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme to reconnect damaged services like electricity, gas and water.

“Through the Queensland Reconstruction Authority we’ll continue to stay in close contact with Cook, Mareeba and Tablelands Councils to aid their recovery from these recent blazes.”

Further information on disaster assistance can be found at Disaster Assist or Disaster support and recovery.