Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Media release: Over $57 million granted for FNQ floods

13 February 2019

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

The Coalition Government has delivered more than $57 million in disaster relief payments to Queensland flood victims in the past week, ensuring those doing it tough are getting the help they need.

The $1000 Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and separate Disaster Recovery Allowance were activated on Tuesday, February 5, and more than 48,000 individuals have now received payments.

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan praised the work done by his department which he said had moved very swiftly to get help to where it was needed on the ground.

“About 20 per cent of my staff in the Townsville area have been victims of the flooding themselves, but they are still coming to work each day to help their friends, neighbours and complete strangers get back on their feet,” Minister Keenan said.

“I would like to thank those staff, as well as all the others who have been working tirelessly, including our phone operators who’ve taken over 50,000 calls for help, our frontline staff in our service centres and our teams of social workers who are in the emergency shelters providing support.”

To make it easier for Queenslanders to access assistance, the Department of Human Services is keeping its phone lines open 7 days a week. Calling is still the easiest way to make a claim and payments can usually be approved on the spot.

The department is also redirecting its mobile service centre Golden Wattle (a bus that acts as mobile Centrelink office) into the flood zone.

“The Mobile Service Centre will have staff on board to assist with information on how to claim disaster payments, as well as a social worker and other specialist staff who can provide a range of help and support for those who need it,” Minister Keenan said.

The disaster payments are available to eligible people living in the local government areas of Burdekin, Burke, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Cook, Douglas, Flinders, McKinlay, Palm Island, Richmond, Townsville, Winton and Wujal Wujal.

To claim a disaster payment, call 180 22 66 or visit for more information.

To learn more about Mobile Service Centre stopping locations visit

Page last updated: 1 April 2019