Media release: Additional Commonwealth financial help made available for flood victims in New South Wales and Queensland
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
In addition to the financial help already available to residents in Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland impacted by the flooding disaster, further support will be extended to 29 Local Government Areas (LGAs) from today, 5 March 2022.
The Commonwealth Government has activated the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance to support more communities in the New South Wales LGAs of: Bayside, Bega Valley, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Eurobodalla, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Inner West, Kiama, Kuring-Gai, Liverpool, Mid-Coast, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Ryde, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, and Wollongong.
The Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance have also been activated in the LGA of Cherbourg in Queensland.
The Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child, and is available to eligible people in those affected LGAs who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury.
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the Australian Government has been swift to make financial help available because help is needed now.
“We continue to closely monitor the flood emergency and our hearts go out to those people whose lives are being devastated,” Minister McKenzie said.
“We have made financial help available now because we know the economic impact of disasters like these are felt long after the flood water recedes.
“There will be some very tough, days, weeks and months ahead for thousands of people in Queensland and New South Wales, and the clean-up and recovery process will take time,” Minister McKenzie said.
The Disaster Recovery Allowance will also be provided in the same affected LGAs. DRA assists employees and sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster. DRA is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks and is taxable.
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the floods.
Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Services Australia has paid over $100 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance to people impacted by the Queensland and New South Wales floods.
“Supporting communities through crisis is what Services Australia is geared to do, and staff stand ready to process claims as quickly as possible to assist disaster-impacted communities,” Minister Reynolds said.
“I encourage impacted residents to check their eligibility for the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance on the Services Australia website, before lodging a claim for assistance.
“The easiest and quickest way to claim the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance is online through myGov. If people require support to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66. People who have more immediate priorities in these local government areas have 6 months to claim payments.
“Services Australia’s response has adapted to the unfolding flooding situation. We are working directly with Queensland and New South Wales emergency authorities and staff are being deployed to multiple evacuation centres and recovery centres as soon as it’s safe to go into these areas.
“Mobile Service Centres are also being pre-positioned, with one truck already set up in Beenleigh in Queensland to provide assistance to residents over the weekend, and further plans underway to deploy a second truck in Northern New South Wales.
“To provide further support, we are also pausing Centrelink debt raising and new debt recovery in the affected locations.”
Online claiming via myGov is available 24x7. The Australian Government Emergency Information Line is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time and this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm local time. For more information on support available, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster
The Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance is currently available in 21 other eligible LGAs in Queensland: Brisbane, Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, and Western Downs.
In NSW, the payments are already available in 17 other eligible LGAs: Armidale, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes Severn, Hornsby, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lismore, Nambucca, Port Macquarie/Hastings, Richmond, Tenterfield, The Hills and Tweed.