Rockhampton and recovery focus for QDMC meeting (Wed 5 April)

The Queensland Disaster Management Committee at 7:30am this morning (Wednesday 5 April) was updated on the status of major flood warning for the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton, the response and recovery efforts in communities across the State. 

Brigadier Chris Field, who I appointed as State Disaster Recovery Coordinator last week, attended the QDMC meeting in Brisbane after we both visited Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Dingo Beach and Hideaway Bay yesterday. 

In Rockhampton, the Bureau of Meteorology have projected the Fitzroy River to peak at 9 metres tomorrow (Thursday, 6 April). HMAS Choules has transported engineers to Yeppoon and Navy helicopters are on standby at Gladstone. 

Across the State, there have been more than 6474requests for SES assistance, but it is expected to increase as recovery efforts continue and floodwaters rise in Rockhampton. 

There have 6684 rapid damage assessments undertaken across the State. To date, over 800 homes have been deemed uninhabitable. 

Electricity  

Since Debbie crossed the coast, more than 230,000 customers lost electricity supply. To date, more than 213,000 – almost 94% - have had power re-connected. 

Work is ongoing to restore electricity to 13,600 customers without supply in north Queensland down from the peak of 65,000 customers off supply. About 6000 customers had electricity restored yesterday. 

In south-east Queensland, there is currently less than 40 customers without supply we have restored 169,000 customers since Friday.  

In preparation for flooding impacts in Rockhampton, 260 customers have had their power disconnected. 

Under the Immediate Hardship Assistance – Essential Services Grant, $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of five or more, will be available in the worst hit areas, for those without these services for more than five days. 

Recovery hub sites 

Eighteen outreach teams were deployed into the region yesterday, doing face to face contacts throughout the region and extra staff went in to Cannonvale/Airlie yesterday to support demand.

All open 9am to 4:30pm seven days per week except Beenleigh and Cannonvale (below)

  • Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Alfred Street, Mackay
  • Andergrove Community Hall, Celeber Drive, Andergrove 
  • Bowen TAFE campus, Queens Road, Bowen
  • Proserpine State High School, 4 Ruge Street, Proserpine
  • Cannonvale State School (10:30am to 3:30pm), 56 Coral Esplanade
  • Beenleigh Event Centre (open today Monday 10am to 5pm and from Tuesday  9am to 5pm), corner of Crete and Kent Streets, Beenleigh 

There are 18 outreach teams to have face-to-face contact throughout the region.

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.

Ministers 

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and I attended the QDMC meeting this morning and have follow-up meetings in Brisbane to discuss the recovery plan, before a QDMC meeting later today. 

Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey is in Mackay and is visiting the Port. He will be providing an update on latest recovery efforts on energy and roads following his inspections across the region over the last two days.

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan will be visiting Clarke Creek with Member for Mirani Jim Pearce, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor.

Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni was joined by Member for Mackay Julianne Gilbert to announce recovery funds for sports clubs affected by Cyclone Debbie in Farleigh. 

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham will be attending a Mackay-based machining and fabrication workshop servicing the mining industry to discuss the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plans for affected communities.

Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Mark Furner will be meeting the Isaac Regional Council and visiting Mackay. 

Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke will be in Bowen visiting affected community members. 

Minister for Agriculture and Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne will remain in Rockhampton and report directly into the QDMC.

Disaster declarations and assistance 

Under the joint Commonwealth-State funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, the following declarations have been made and categories of assistance are available for the following local government areas (as at 8pm, Tuesday, 4 April). 

Personal hardship and distress in the affected local government areas of:

    • Gold Coast City
    • Isaac
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Scenic Rim
    • Whitsunday 

Following the activation of Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, hardship and distress assistance for families (up to $900) and individuals (up to $180) to help with emergency needs such as food, clothing and accommodation, essential repairs to damaged homes and the replacement of essential household contents. 

Counter disaster operations, in the affected local government areas of:

    • Burdekin
    • Banana
    • Central Highlands
    • Charters Towers
    • Gladstone
    • Gold Coast City
    • Hinchinbrook
    • Isaac
    • Livingstone
    • Lockyer Valley
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Moreton Bay
    • Noosa
    • Palm Island
    • Rockhampton
    • Scenic Rim
    • Southern Downs
    • Toowoomba
    • Townsville
    • Whitsunday
    • Woorabinda

Extraordinary costs associated with the delivery of personal hardship and distress assistance in the affected local government areas of:

    • Burdekin
    • Central Highlands
    • Charters Towers
    • Gladstone
    • Gold Coast City
    • Hinchinbrook
    • Isaac
    • Livingstone
    • Lockyer Valley
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Moreton Bay
    • Palm Island
    • Rockhampton
    • Scenic Rim
    • Southern Downs
    • Toowoomba
    • Townsville
    • Whitsunday
    • Woorabinda

 Demolition or rebuilding in the affected local government areas of:

    • Isaac
    • Mackay
    • Whitsunday

 Removal of debris in the affected local government areas of:

    • Gold Coast City
    • Isaac
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Scenic Rim
    • Whitsunday

 Personal and financial counselling in the affected local government areas of:

    • Gold Coast City
    • Isaac
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Scenic Rim
    • Whitsunday 

Restoration or replacement of essential public assets in the affected local government areas of:

    • Banana
    • Central Highlands
    • Gladstone
    • Gympie
    • Gold Coast City
    • Isaac
    • Ipswich
    • Livingstone Shire
    • Lockyer Valley
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Moreton Bay
    • North Burnett
    • Noosa
    • Rockhampton
    • Scenic Rim
    • Sunshine Coast
    • Southern Downs
    • Somerset
    • Toowoomba
    • Whitsunday

For primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations - Category B - in the affected local government areas of:

This includes concessional interest rate loans and interest rate subsidies for small businesses, primary producers and voluntary non-profit organisations, freight subsidies for primary producers, grants to voluntary non-profit organisations, as well as grants and loans to needy individuals. 

Concessional interest rate loans and interest rate subsidies for small businesses, primary producers and voluntary non-profit organisations in the affected local government areas of:

    • Central Highlands
    • Gladstone
    • Gold Coast
    • Isaac
    • Lockyer Valley.
    • Logan
    • Mackay
    • Scenic Rim
    • Whitsunday

Freight subsidies for primary producers in affected local government areas of:

    • Mackay
    • Whitsunday

Grants to voluntary non-profit organisations in affected local government areas of:

    • Mackay
    • Whitsunday

Loans to needy individuals in the affected local government areas of:

    • Mackay
    • Whitsunday 

Essential Services Grant:

Under the Immediate Hardship Assistance – Essential Services Grant, $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of five or more, will be available in the worst hit areas, for those without these services for more than five days. 

Disaster Recovery Payment:

The Australian Government has activated both the Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP) and the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) for eligible disaster affected residents in the local government areas of:

  • Whitsunday
  • Gold Coast
  • Logan
  • Mackay
  • Scenic Rim 

The DRP is a one-off payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child for those who have suffered serious injury or major damage to their homes.

People eligible for the DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance. 

To lodge a claim call the Australian Government Information Line on 180 22 66 or via humanservices.gov.au/disaster. 

Important numbers for assistance

For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500 and in a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero.  

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

Donations  

I continue to encourage anyone wanting to help their fellow Queenslanders to make a donation directly with a respected charity:

  • Australian Red Cross Society —1800 811 700 redcross.org.au
  • The Salvation Army — 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) salvos.org.au/
  • St Vincent de Paul Society of Queensland — 3010 1002 vinnies.org.au/donate
  • UnitingCare Community — 1800 001 953 uccommunity.org.au/disaster-relief

These charities are trained to respond to the needs of communities hit by natural disasters and can provide food, equipment, shelter, and other support.

Goods and services can also be donated to GIVIT through their website www.givit.org.au