The Federal and Queensland Governments have announced the roll-out of additional support measures to disaster afflicted areas of south-east Queensland (SEQ) to boost recovery and resilience operations. 

The exceptional circumstances assistance is jointly funded through federal-state Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and comes in the wake of some of the worst storms SEQ has ever experienced.

Additional grants for small businesses, farmers and non-profit organisations were also activated for SEQ.

The new support measures include: 

Clean-up Program – $20 million

  • Available to impacted councils and state agencies in response to both the south-east Queensland storms and ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper
  • Funding for extraordinary clean-up activities and damage assessments of community and recreational assets, parks, waterways and beaches, and national parks

Local Resilience and Recovery Grants – $3 million

  • Confirmed Commonwealth-State funding (announced on Thursday) will deliver $1 million to each of the three councils hardest hit by the SEQ storms: Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim
  • Grants to undertake locally-led recovery initiatives, build greater community resilience, and reduce the impacts of future severe weather events

Assistance grants for small business

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for directly-impacted small businesses to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace or repair damaged infrastructure and stock, and other costs associated with the recovery process.

Assistance grants for farmers and primary producers

Primary producers who have suffered direct damage can apply for grants of up to $75,000.

Grants will assist with short-term recovery needs including pasture rehabilitation, fodder, replacing livestock, and repairs to infrastructure and equipment. 

Assistance grants for non-profit organisations

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for directly-impacted non-profit organisations to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, repair or replace damaged infrastructure or goods and other costs associated with the recovery process.

In recognition of its resourcing constraints, Scenic Rim Council will also receive a small amount of direct funding to engage a project manager and other skilled workers to design, coordinate and manage extraordinary recovery efforts.

A range of previously announced financial assistance for impacted residents, businesses and councils remains available as well, including Personal Hardship Assistance grants and Disaster Assistance Loans.

Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said that the Federal Government will back Queensland in this critical time of need. 

“We are committed to helping Queensland communities recover from the devastating impacts of extreme weather events,” Mr Albanese said. 

“This support will deliver the expertise and the resources to keep the job going and ensure recovery efforts are seen through.

“We know it’s been a terrible start to the year for many Queenslanders, but we will continue to work with the State Government to make sure the South East rebounds stronger than before.”

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said that the resilience shown by impacted communities has been remarkable, but that targeted disaster assistance is required to keep recovery moving at speed. 

“Queenslanders are bred tough, but when we’re faced with testing times we need to band together and support each other, doing whatever it takes to help,” Mr Miles said. 

“I want to acknowledge the incredible will of our frontline services, councils and residents, and this exceptional circumstances package we’re announcing today will help them continue doing the vital work our state needs right now.”

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said that the road to recovery will be challenging, but that the Federal Government is standing with councils to give them certainty of funding so they can keep full focus on their clean-up efforts.

“The $20 million Clean-Up Program is accessible to our hardest-hit local governments, while the $1 million grants for Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim can be put towards not only recovery but greater overall resilience.

“We are also opening up new grants for affected farmers, small business owners and non-profit organisations to help get them back on their feet.”

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