DISASTER assistance for eight local government areas impacted by Cyclone Debbie has been announced.
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Queensland Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan today announced disaster assistance in response to Tropical Cyclone Debbie that has affected eight local government areas today.
The assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Minister Keenan said like all Australians, my thoughts today are with the people of Far North Queensland who have braced themselves for the onslaught of Cyclone Debbie.
"Our number one concern remains the safety of those in the cyclone's path. I urge people to continue to exercise extreme caution, avoid risks and stay off the road. If it's flooded- forget it," Mr Keenan said.
"The Australian Government has worked hand in glove with our Queensland counterparts to ensure that we are as prepared as possible, and have acted swiftly today to provide immediate assistance for affected local government areas."
Minister Ryan said counter-disaster operations assistance will be made available to the eight local government areas of Burdekin, Charters Towers, Isaac, Hinchinbrook, Mackay, Palm Island, Townsville and Whitsunday.
"As the full impacts of this tropical cyclone become evident, we will continue to activate support for the affected communities," Mr Ryan said.
Information on disaster assistance available for this natural disaster can be found on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/ and the Queensland Government's Disaster management website at http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/.
Disaster relief measures
NDRRA relief measures may be invoked by the Queensland Government immediately an eligible disaster event has occurred and a need for assistance established. The following is a summary of NDRRA relief measures that may be activated to assist individuals and communities affected by eligible disaster events.
Counter Disaster Operations (to alleviate personal hardship)
Counter Disaster Operations are activities undertaken by Local and State government agencies to provide direct assistance to and in the protection of the general public immediately before, during and an immediate aftermath of a disaster event.
Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme (to alleviate personal hardship)
The Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme is provides assistance to individuals and families directly affected by an eligible disaster event and who require support to provide for their own recovery or would otherwise experience more serious hardship.
Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme
The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme provides financial assistance of up to $5,000 to individuals and families as a contribution towards safety inspections of and repairs to essential services (e.g. electricity, gas, water and sewerage) damaged by an eligible disaster.
Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional Loan and Grant Packages) for Non-Profit Organisations
This relief measure is designed to assist in meeting the needs of Associations (churches, clubs, sporting associations and voluntary non-profit organisations) to re-establish facilities following eligible disaster damage.
Restoration of Public Assets
This relief measure financially assists eligible State and Local Governments in the restoration of essential public assets, following an eligible disaster event, to pre-disaster standard/level of service, in accordance with current engineering standards/requirements and building codes/guidelines if required by legislation, while maintaining the same asset class and/or immunity level.
Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional loans) to primary producers
The purpose of assistance under the scheme is to assist in meeting the needs of primary producers to recover following an eligible disaster of substantial magnitude.
Freight subsidies to primary producers
Assistance for the movement of feed, building/fencing materials, stock, fodder, water, machinery/equipment and fuels (50% subsidy)
Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional loan) to small businesses
The purpose of assistance under the scheme is designed to assist in meeting the needs of small businesses to recover from an eligible disaster event of substantial magnitude.