$10m in grants handed out to help residents recover from Cyclone Debbie

MORE than $10 million has already been handed out to Queenslanders to help get them back on their feet following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said 25,000 individuals and families across state have now received a grant, with most being Immediate Hardship Assistance grants.

Ms Fentiman said the Community Recovery Hotline had responded to more than 30,000 calls to provide assistance to thousands of Queenslanders over the past eight days.


“This means thousands of people and families have been able to buy much-needed food, clothing, water and medication in the days after this disaster hit,” Ms Fentiman said.

“(the hotline) has allowed thousands of people impacted by the disaster to get the financial assistance and emotional support they need to start to recover from this widespread disaster.

“I’m particularly pleased that we have received almost 50,000 grant applications through our Community Recovery online portal and Self-Recovery app, which have been in operation for the first time in a disaster.”

The focus of community recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie has extended to Rockhampton.

Ms Fentiman said eligible residents in affected areas of Rockhampton could now apply for grants and support services.

“People in Rockhampton who have been impacted by the flooding can use the Self-recovery app, go to www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 for assistance.”

“Anyone who doesn’t have access to power, internet or telecommunications can visit the Community Recovery Hub which opened today at the James Lawrence Pavilion, Rockhampton Showgrounds.

“Anyone visiting the hub should enter the showgrounds at the Lion Creek Road entrance.

“During these early days, the hub will focus on helping the most affected residents, who will be able to talk to community recovery workers, receive referrals for community organisations and other government agencies and those who are experiencing financial hardship can apply for grants.”

Ms Fentiman said more than 400 community recovery workers were now on the ground in affected areas across Queensland offering support and assistance.

Other grants such as income-tested Essential Household Contents Grants and Structural Assistance Grants are also available for people who are uninsured – or not covered for this disaster – and unable to meet the costs of replacing essential goods or repairs to their homes.

Grants are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Ms Fentiman said extra financial assistance also continued to be available for eligible residents in Mackay and Whitsunday who lost electricity, gas or water for more than five days and are experiencing hardship.

This is in addition to the Immediate Hardship Assistance grants.