Media release: Queensland flood assistance tops $100m
The Hon Michael Keenan MP
Flood recovery efforts in Far North Queensland reached a major milestone this week, with emergency payments distributed by the Coalition Government topping $100 million.
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the separate Disaster Recovery Allowance were activated on February 4 and the Department of Human Services (DHS) has since processed more than 87,700 claims.
Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation Michael Keenan said DHS staff had responded extremely swiftly to the emergency, ensuring those doing it tough were not left waiting for help.
“My department immediately deployed hundreds of extra staff onto our dedicated emergency phone lines which were also kept open on weekends to help deal with the big volume of calls we were receiving,” Minister Keenan said.
“This enabled claims to be processed very quickly and, in most cases, people had money deposited into the bank accounts within 24 hours.
“For those needing more intensive face-to-face support, our teams of expert social workers set up shop inside the emergency shelters, while those in more remote areas were visited by our mobile service centres.”
Minister Keenan said the response was even more remarkable given the department was also supporting people affected by the Tasmanian and Northern New South Wales bushfires, as well as maintaining business as usual.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the staff who have worked together to make this happen, especially those who had been affected by these events themselves,” Minister Keenan said.
“In Townsville for example, almost a quarter of the department’s staff were directly affected by the floods, but still turned up to work to help their communities.”
More information about how to make a claim is available at humanservices.gov.au/disaster