Community recovery work boosted as more Queensland residents affected by TC Debbie receive help

Community recovery work boosted as more Queensland residents affected by TC Debbie receive help

Flood-affected residents in the Logan, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast local government areas will be able to access immediate financial help and support in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said more than $1.2 million in hardship assistance had already been paid out to affected residents as more help was made available today for those affected by severe flooding over the weekend.

"The latest areas in Logan to receive help are Bannockburn, Cedar Creek, Cedar Grove, Mount Warren Park, Tanah Merah, Veresdale, Windaroo, Wolffdene and Woodhill,” she said.

“In the Scenic Rim, additional areas eligible for assistance are Allenview, Bromelton, Gleneagle, Josephville, Kagaru and Laravale.

“And for Gold Coast, help has been extended to Cedar Creek, Luscombe, Stapylton, Yatala and Springbrook.”

A community recovery hub opened in Beenleigh yesterday and is now operating from the Beenleigh Event Centre, opening from 10am to 5pm today and from 9am to 5pm from tomorrow.

Ms Fentiman said thousands of residents in Logan, Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast areas were only now returning to their homes to survey the damage after being forced to flee.

“There are thousands of people who were forced to flee when the floodwaters came up so quickly on Friday and for many of them, today will be their first chance to assess the damage,” she said.

“This is a heart-breaking time for many people in my community and my focus is on the many Queenslanders who are facing a long recovery and clean up ahead.

“That’s why its vital people know that help is available to get them back on their feet.”

While residents in affected areas who have power or phones are encouraged to use the Self-Recovery app or online portal at www.qld.gov/communityrecovery or ring the hotline on 1800 173 349 to lodge applications, seek information and assistance, or arrange outreach visits, they can also visit the Beenleigh hub for face-to-face help.

Residents can talk to community recovery workers, receive referrals for community organisations and other government agencies and those who are experiencing hardship can apply for grants.

This assistance helps cover the costs of essential items such as food, clothing and accommodation immediately after this type of disaster.

Immediate Hardship Assistance will be available to people who:

  • Live or are stranded in the targeted activation zone
  • Are unable to meet immediate essential needs
  • Are unable to seek support from family or friends

Subject to these criteria, applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of five or more. Other assistance may also be available.

Ms Fentiman said community recovery operations were also well under way in North Queensland, with the area’s fifth community recovery hub opening on Saturday at Cannonvale TAFE. Community Recovery hubs are also open at Proserpine, Bowen and Mackay.

Immediate financial assistance and support was activated on Saturday for Issac Shire Council area after severe flooding heavily impacted Rockhampton and wider districts with community recovery efforts focussed on outreach teams targeting those most in need.

Ms Fentiman said 200 Ready Reserve staff have so far been deployed to boost recovery efforts, together with our Recovery Queensland community partners like Red Cross, Vinnies, the Salvos and Uniting Care Qld.

“By Sunday afternoon, the Community Recovery Hotline had already taken more than 11,000 calls from people needing information, support and to apply for grants,” she said.

“We have also received almost 18,000 grant applications through our Community Recovery online portal and Self-Recovery app.”

Essential Household Contents Grants, Structural Assistance Grants and Essential Services Safety Reconnection Scheme Grants are also available for individuals and families affected by this widespread disaster.

Extra financial assistance is also now available for residents in Mackay and Whitsunday areas, affected by the loss of electricity, gas or water for more than five days. This is in addition to the Immediate Hardship Assistance Grants.

People who are experiencing personal hardship due to TC Debbie should download and use the Self-recovery app, go to www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or for further information.