Disaster assistance has been made available for the Gladstone Regional Council communities of Baffle Creek, Deepwater, Oyster Creek, Rules Beach and Taunton, for those affected by severe bushfires currently burning in the region.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the Commonwealth and Queensland governments were working together to support recovery efforts following an early start to the fire season.
“These fires have burnt through more than 20,000 hectares of the Deepwater and Round Hill area with hundreds of residents evacuated,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
“Through the DRFA, we are able to offer those most affected some peace of mind by providing assistance whilst they get back on their feet.
“A range of assistance is now available to help aid community recovery and to fund operational response activities.”
Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said at the height of the fires, which leapt up to 12 metres into the air, around 70 crews battled the blaze including a 737 aircraft water bomber from Sydney.
“As always, our first responders did a remarkable job of protecting communities and I commend them for their efforts to date,” Mr Crawford said.
“We are monitoring the situation as it unfolds and will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth should other communities need disaster assistance.
"The funding available through the DRFA will help cover the cost of fighting the bushfires and provide personal hardship assistance to those severely impacted.”
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at
www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au.