​Commonwealth Government assistance for disaster affected Queensland and New South Wales

Issued: 5 April 2017

Media Release by The Hon Michael Keenan MP Minister for Justice, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism

Commonwealth Government assistance for disaster affected Queensland and New South Wales

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan today announced that the Australian Government has activated both the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance for eligible disaster affected residents in the local government areas of Lismore and Tweed in New South Wales, and Gold Coast, Logan, Mackay, and Scenic Rim in Queensland.

By making these payments available today the Australian Government is ensuring that those who have lost their homes or livelihoods have the additional assistance they need to help them on the road to recovery.

We recognise the importance of supporting affected individuals and families, and maintaining the workforce in disaster affected areas to support longer term local and regional economic and community recovery.

We are in regular contact with the New South Wales and Queensland governments regarding recovery assistance, and will continue to monitor the impacts of the event to ensure that communities have access to the assistance they need.

People eligible for the Disaster Recovery Payment (DRP) are those who have suffered serious injury or major damage to their homes as a direct result of the disaster. These people can access a one-off payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child.

People eligible for the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance.

This assistance is designed to help those employees, primary producers and sole traders affected by the disaster to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (non-protected Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the cyclone.

The Australian Government assistance announced today is over and above the support already being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Commonwealth DRP and DRA payments are also already available for eligible residents in the Whitsunday local government area.

The easiest way to lodge a claim for the disaster recovery payments is by calling the Australian Government Information Line on 180 22 66 between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Friday and between 8am and 5pm, Saturday to Sunday, or via humanservices.gov.au/disaster.

Completed claim forms can also be lodged in person at an Australian Department of Human Services service centre, agent or access point.

Further information on Australian Government assistance is available online at www.disasterassist.gov.au.