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Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Media release

Joint media release with the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP - Disaster assistance for flood-affected communities in far North Queensland

Disaster assistance has been made available for communities in Far North Queensland following record-breaking floods brought on by a monsoon trough over the Australia Day long weekend.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

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

"This monsoon has caused major flooding in the region, with records that have stood for more than a century tumbling under the depth of the floodwaters," Assistant Minister Reynolds said.

"Through the DRFA, we are able to offer assistance to Cook Shire Council, Douglas Shire Council and Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council to help their regions recover.

"The assistance will help cover costs associated with counter disaster operations and restoring damaged public assets, as well as providing personal hardship assistance to the communities of Wujal Wujal."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said more than half a metre of rain was dumped on the region in a 24-hour period.

"This record rain comes on top of Cyclone Penny, which had already inundated the Daintree catchment, meaning all that monsoonal rain overflowed river banks more quickly and spread out across low lying areas," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"As well as breaking records for a region no stranger to wet seasons, the floodwaters have cut roads and power, damaged infrastructure such as water and sewerage lines, and isolated vulnerable communities.

"While the wet season isn't over yet, and more rain is forecast for the Far North in the coming days, we are getting on the front foot to ensure those most affected by the current floods get the assistance they need.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation in Far North Queensland as monsoon season continues and will work closely with the Commonwealth to support other 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.