Media release: QLD/NSW FLOOD EMERGENCY UPDATE
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
In the response and recovery phase of the flood disaster impacting Queensland and New South Wales, Services Australia’s immediate focus is on getting disaster recovery payments into the pockets of those who have been impacted.
Latest claims, as at 9am this morning, Friday, 11 March:
- More than $565 million in Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) have been paid for 490,000 claims in the past 11 days.
- This is up from $480 million paid for 414,000 claims yesterday.
- Since claims opened in Queensland on Monday, 28 February and New South Wales (NSW) on Tuesday, 1 March:
- 167,000 claims worth $194 million have been granted in Queensland.
- 323,000 claims worth $371 million have been granted in NSW.
- Services Australia continues to process a high number and value of claims compared to other recent natural disasters. For example, in the first two weeks of the 2021 NSW Floods Services Australia processed 107,000 claims.
Disaster Support Payments Activated
- The Morrison Government has activated the following two immediate disaster supports:
- The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is a one-off lump sum of $1000 per adult and $400 per child to people who have suffered severe injury or major property damage.
- The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) is a 13 week income support for people who will lose income as a result of the floods.
- AGDRP and DRA has been activated in 67 local government areas across Queensland and New South Wales.
Accessing Services Australia
- Applications for support can be done online via myGov, by calling 180 22 66, face to face at service centres, and increasingly at evacuation and recovery centres. More than 97% of claims have been submitted online.
- All Queensland Service Centres are now open, with all but one Service Centre in New South Wales open.
- The current list of temporary service centre closures as well as temporary service locations (including evacuation and recovery centres) is here.
- Services Australia has also deployed Mobile Service Centres (MSCs) to provide additional in-person support to flood hit areas.
- Since the 1st of March, Services Australia’s mobile servicing teams have provided face to face support to people in more than 51 locations across Queensland and Northern New South Wales, and three face-to-face service options in Lismore.
- Services Australia has extended the 180 22 66 phone operating hours from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm on weekends.
- Where applications are complete and eligible, payments are usually made within one day.
- Services Australia is re-prioritising its flexible internal and external staffing resources to process disaster claims as quickly as possible, and hundreds of staff from across the Australian Public Service (APS) have been mobilised to bolster the agency’s surge capacity.
Comments to be attributed to the Minister for Government Services, Senator Linda Reynolds:
The Morrison Government has acted swiftly to deliver urgent disaster support to flood hit communities across Queensland and New South Wales.
The sheer scale of this disaster and the huge number of communities impacted is the largest in recent Australian history.
Services Australia staff continue to work tirelessly in flood hit communities and in call centres to deal with the strong demand for disaster support – even when they have also been impacted by the floods.