Disaster Assistance for Flood-Impacted Far North Queenslanders

 The Albanese Government is delivering additional financial support for people directly impacted by the devastating floods in Far North Queensland.

From 2pm AEST, Wednesday 20 December, applications for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) will open for people who live and work in the Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Douglas, Hope Vale, Mareeba, Tablelands, Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah Local Government Areas (LGAs):

  • The AGDRP is a one-off payment of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child who have suffered a significant loss as a result of the floods, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or a serious injury.
  • The DRA provides up to 13 weeks of federal income support to assist eligible employees or sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster.

Equivalent financial assistance is available to eligible New Zealand citizens holding ‘non-protected Special Category’ and ‘subclass 444’ visas.

People will soon be able to check their eligibility and how to claim on the Services Australia website.

The easiest way for people to claim is online through myGov.

If people need help to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency information line on 180 22 66. If they want to speak to someone in their language, they can also call the Centrelink multilingual phone service on 131 202.

People in the Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Douglas, Hope Vale, Mareeba, Tablelands, Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah LGAs can also pause or change their Centrelink debt repayments using the Money you owe service online in either their Centrelink online account, or Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Alternatively, they can call 1800 076 072.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“The devastation we have seen over the past few days in Far North Queensland has been horrific.

“My Government stands with the people of Queensland now during the response and will continue to do so through the recovery phase of this disaster.

“This will deliver emergency support to help families get back on their feet in the coming days.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Government Services, Bill Shorten:

“This is a shocking time for these storm and flood impacted communities, especially at Christmas. While we know Queenslanders are resilient, there’s no doubt the road to recovery will be tough.

“I encourage those in the impacted areas to check their eligibility for disaster assistance available through the Services Australia website.

“If you can’t get online or you need help with a claim, Services Australia staff are available to assist. You can call 180 22 66 to speak with a staff member.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:

“As the floodwaters from Tropical Cyclone Jasper recede, the Albanese Government is getting on with the job of providing more assistance to areas in need.

“Already, we have provided initial financial assistance in conjunction with the Queensland Government and now we are activating more support.

“We are making this financial help available now because the economic impact of disasters like these are felt long after the flood water has gone.

“There are still tough days, weeks and months ahead for many people, and the recovery process will take some time.”

Quotes attributable to Senator for Queensland, Nita Green:

“The past week has been incredibly tough on people up here in Far North Queensland.

“But we are tough people and we will get through this.

“These payments will help those affected to pay for the things they need after suffering significant losses, while the DRA is a modest payment to help people who’ve temporarily lost their income.

“And ahead of Christmas, this assistance will be vital for those who have lost so much.”