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Disaster assistance extended after Kirrily

DISASTER assistance for Tropical Cyclone Kirrily has now been extended to help residents and local councils with response and recovery costs.

Residents within Townsville City Council and Burdekin Shire Council can now apply for Personal Hardship Assistance grants, with $180 for individuals and up to $900 for a family of five or more, available to cover the costs of essentials as a result of loss of power requiring the disposal of spoilt food or medicines.

A range of other support measures are also available to eligible individuals to help make their home safe to live in and reconnect essential services like electricity, water and sewerage.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said that since crossing the coast on Thursday night, 25 January, Tropical Cyclone Kirrily had left many residents without power.

“I met a number of affected residents when I was in Townsville today and I know they need help fast,” he said.

“The announcement today of Personal Hardship Assistance grants will enable impacted residents in Townsville and the Burdekin Shire to cover the costs of life’s essentials, particularly perishable items.

“Damage assessments across the impacted region are ongoing and will guide decisions on other support that may be required for communities and local councils.”

This assistance is jointly provided by the Federal and State Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

McKinlay and Richmond Shire Councils have now also been activated for Councils to receive support to assist with counter disaster operations and the reconstruction of essential public assets.

As previously announced, Burdekin and Hinchinbrook Shire Councils, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and Townsville City Council can access funding for counter disaster operations such as the removal of fallen trees and debris, and other measures aimed at community safety like sandbagging.

The activation of immediate disaster assistance will enable these councils to cover the costs associated with preparing for, and the immediate response to the impacts of, Tropical Cyclone Kirrily.

Additional information on assistance available:

Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme

  • Emergency Hardship Assistance Grant – provides assistance as a contribution to support people directly impacted by an eligible disaster to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation. 
  • Essential Services Hardship Assistance – provides assistance for people directly impacted by an eligible disaster to meet their immediate needs where they have experienced the loss of one or more essential services for more than five days. 
  • Essential Household Contents Grant – provides a contribution towards replacing or repairing essential household contents, such as beds, linen and whitegoods that have been lost or damaged by an eligible disaster. 
  • Structural Assistance Grant – provides a contribution towards repairs or replacement of a dwelling damaged by an eligible disaster, to return it to a safe, habitable and secure condition. 

Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme 

  • To assist residents with the inspection and reconnection of essential services that have been damaged by an eligible disaster. The scheme provides financial assistance to individuals and families as a contribution towards safety inspections of and repairs to residential essential services (i.e. electricity, gas, water and sewerage) damaged by an eligible disaster.

Further information on disaster assistance can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au or www.qld.gov.au/disasterhelp.

People requiring immediate assistance can contact the Queensland Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

To learn more about DRFA support, visit the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Aurukun mayor praises community’s harmony with police and Rural and remote nursing takes unique preparation.

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