The Federal and Queensland Governments are delivering additional disaster relief funding to Far North Queensland (FNQ) to support the region’s recovery following ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper. 

The assistance follows a similar support roll-out announced for South-East Queensland, which is also jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The funding will further support local tourism, clean-up efforts and invest in specialised recovery staff. 

Emergency assistance in the roll out includes: 

  • A $24.25 million Tourism Recovery and Resilience Program, which will develop a grants program for Far North operators who have been cut-off or heavily affected by the extreme weather. Grants will be made available to impacted operators to re-establish their business, continue employing their staff and rebuild stronger, with flood-resilient infrastructure such as solar panels and other mitigation infrastructure. The program will also fund a tourism and events marketing campaign to attract more visitors back to the region.
  • A $20 million Clean-Up Program will assist in response to both ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the South East Queensland storms. FNQ Councils and state agencies will be supported as they continue their work clearing debris from community assets, parks, national parks, beaches and waterways.
  • Cyclone Industry Recovery and Resilience Officer (CIRRO) Program – three specialised resilience officers will work with FNQ industry, Councils and impacted farmers to support local community-led, regionally-coordinated recovery approaches to disaster risk reduction for future events.
  • In recognition of their resourcing constraints, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council and Douglas Shire Council will also receive a small amount of direct funding to engage project managers and other skilled workers to design, coordinate and manage extraordinary recovery efforts following TC Jasper.

Previously announced financial assistance for impacted residents, businesses and councils also remains available, including Personal Hardship Assistance grants and Disaster Assistance Loans.

Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said that the beautiful FNQ region has been ravaged by this disaster, and that the Federal Government wants to help it get back on its feet as soon as possible.

“Disaster recovery at this scale will take time so it’s vital we keep making these investments so that Far North Queensland can bounce back faster and stronger,” Mr Albanese said. 

“Tourism in particular is one of the lifeblood industries of Far North Queensland, and we want to make sure businesses hit hard can not only survive but thrive again.

“We’re also giving a boost to clean-up efforts and focused recovery for primary producers and the councils of Wujal Wujal and Douglas, which will make a major difference for the region.”

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said that the announcement is more evidence that the Federal and State Governments stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Far North Queensland communities. 

“Tourism is a pillar of the economy and we will do everything we can to ensure local businesses and households are supported through this time,” Mr Miles said. 

“This additional extraordinary funding comes on top of the $64 million package we announced before Christmas, and of course the millions in Personal Hardship Assistance that’s already in the pockets of residents.

“We know there’s still a long road to travel until the Far North has fully recovered from Jasper, but this announcement significantly strengthens our work.”

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said that this latest package is informed by conversations with councils, industry and the community, and that he acknowledges their strength and resilience in these tough times.

“With investments like the $20 million Clean-Up Program we’re removing the financial strain on councils, giving them full confidence to keep going with their great work,” Mr Watt said. 

“Employing recovery and resilience officers to help FNQ primary producers, and recovery project managers for Wujal Wujal and Douglas will also ensure we’re achieving the best possible outcomes that are informed by local experience in the Far North.”

The Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Nikki Boyd, said that this is the next step in the recovery journey for the Far North. 

“It’s funding that helps across the Far North, from the community and councils to cornerstone employers like tourism and primary industry,” Ms Boyd said. 

“And we will keep working with councils and the federal government to develop further support.”

Federal Minister for Tourism, Don Farrell, said that Australia’s tourism operators are remarkably resilient and many are already once again showing visitors the wonders of the region.

“This package will help those unable to re-open quickly to overcome this challenge and get back to what they do best – delivering unique, world-class tourism experiences to international and domestic visitors,” Mr Farrell said. 

Queensland Minister for Tourism, Michael Healy, said that these funds will be a lifeline for many businesses who remain closed in areas like Cape Tribulation and along the Captain Cook Highway, weeks after the cyclone and flooding hit the Far North. 

“The support will be targeted at helping them retain skilled staff and improve their operations, while encouraging visitors to start getting ready to plan a trip north,” Mr Healy said. 

“Tourism is the lifeblood of our region, and we are steadfast in our commitment to support tourism operators through this difficult period.”

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