Saturday, 02 February 2019
Media release

Joint media release with the Hon Craig Crawford MP - Disaster assistance extended for North and Far North Queensland communities

Disaster assistance has been extended for communities in Charters Towers, Palm Island, Richmond, Burdekin and Townsville due to the extensive and persistent rainfall and flooding underway in North and Far North Queensland.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is in addition to the assistance already activated for the region.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the Commonwealth and Queensland governments continued to work together to support ongoing recovery efforts as the flooding continues.

"Significant rainfall in North Queensland continues to raise water levels and create flooding issues for more communities," Assistant Minister Reynolds said.

"Through the DRFA, we are able to provide assistance to Charters Towers, Palm Island, Richmond and Townsville councils to help cover the cost of repairs associated with the floods, and help residents recover.

"We are also providing additional relief measures to targeted areas in Burdekin Shire Council and Townsville City Council to include personal hardship assistance and the reconnection of essential services."

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said it was vital assistance was made available to impacted regions.

"The record rainfall and flooding has continued to impact communities in the north, flooding homes and businesses while isolating communities and damaging essential public assets," Minister Crawford said.

"As the monsoonal trough shifts and the floodwaters head downstream we are seeing more and more communities impacted and requiring assistance.

While it is reassuring that these assistance measures can be provided, as the rain continues to fall, the risk of further flooding and isolation continues to grow and I urge everyone to exercise caution around floodwaters and heed the warnings of local authorities.

"We continue to monitor the weather and flooding patterns and remain committed to closely working with the Commonwealth to support impacted communities as required."

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.