Commonwealth delivers more assistance for people affected by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia

Media Release

WT044/2015

22 February 2015

Joint release with:

Michael Keenan

Minister for Justice

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss today announced in Rockhampton that the Australian Government will provide the Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP) to eligible residents affected by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan activated the payment last night for those in the Fitzroy District who have been significantly affected by the cyclone.

People eligible for the Disaster Recovery Payment, who have lost or had significant damage to their homes, or suffered injury as a result of the disaster, can access a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 for each child.

Claims can be made online at www.humanservices.gov.au or by calling the Commonwealth Government Information Hotline on 180 22 66 from 8am to 5pm local time, Monday to Friday.

Completed claim forms can also be lodged in person at a Commonwealth Government Department of Human Services service centre.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the quick decision to activate the DRP will be of great help to local residents.

“This extra financial help is very welcome. These are very difficult times for those affected by the cyclone, which has had a devastating impact on local communities,” Ms Landry said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said immediate financial help for people was crucial in the days following a natural disaster.

“We also thank our remarkable SES and rescue crews who, through their dedication and selflessness, have ensured there has been no loss of life in recent days,” Mr O'Dowd said.

The Commonwealth Government assistance announced today is over and above the support already announced under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

NDRRA assistance is being made available in the local government areas of Banana, Livingstone and Rockhampton.

Mr Truss said under the NDRRA arrangements people affected by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Marcia will be able to access personal hardship assistance payments from today.

Individuals and families impacted by the cyclone can access immediate relief payments of $180 per adult and up to $900 per family.

“These payments will provide help with immediate emergency needs such as food, clothing and accommodation, removal of debris, repairs, rebuilding and replacement of essential household contents,” Mr Truss said.

“The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme has also been made available to residents in affected areas.”

Financial assistance under the NDRRA has also been made available to affected councils to help with the costs incurred in protecting their communities, clean-up operations and the restoration of essential public assets.

Mr Keenan said the Commonwealth Government would continue to work with Queensland to help communities recover.

“These communities still have a large task ahead of them cleaning up and restoring essential public assets, and we will continue to help them with that,” Mr Keenan said.

Information regarding the assistance available can be found on the Queensland Government's Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au and on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.