Federal disaster assistance for impacted SEQ communities

The Albanese Government has activated more financial support for people directly impacted by the recent severe storms in South East Queensland.

From 2pm AEST on Monday 8 January, applications for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) will open.

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 disaster, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or a serious injury.

The payment is available for eligible people who live in the following suburbs, which have been identified as having homes that have experienced major damage:

  • City of Gold Coast: Arundel, Biggera Waters, Coombabah, Coomera, Gaven, Guanaba, Helensvale, Hollywell, Labrador, Maudsland, Mudgeeraba, Nerang, Oxenford, Pacific Pines, Paradise Point, Runaway Bay, Tallai, Upper Coomera and Wongawallan.
  • City of Logan: Cedar Creek, Cedar Grove, Cedar Vale, Flagstone, Jimboomba, Mundoolun and Tamborine.
  • Scenic Rim Region: Tamborine and Tamborine Mountain.

The AGDRP builds on joint Federal-State financial hardship assistance already available for South East Queensland residents who need to replace food, clothing, medicines or reconnect utilities, but who have not suffered major damage to their home. Residents can apply for these payments through Queensland Government Disaster support and recovery.

The DRA is an allowance that 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.

The allowance is available for eligible people who live or work in the Gold Coast, City of Logan and Scenic Rim Region Local Government Areas.

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 Natural disaster support website.

The quickest 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 Gold Coast, City of Logan and Scenic Rim Region 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 Minister for Government Services, the Hon Bill Shorten:

“Services Australia stands ready to assist the impacted communities in South East Queensland, and deliver disaster payments to those in need.

“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.

“Thank you also to those working around the clock supporting Aussies impacted since Cyclone Jasper, including the 1000 Services Australia staff working the phones, and 2000 staff processing claims.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

“There are many South East Queenslanders who are still recovering, especially those who’ve had their homes damaged or destroyed and work places impacted.

“Immediately after the disaster we worked with the Queensland Government to activate hardship payments for those impacted. Now, the Albanese Government is moving quickly to increase the assistance on offer to those who have suffered significant damage to their home or have taken a hit at work.

“We understand that often insurance claims can take some time to process, so these $1000 payments will help to get Queenslanders back on their feet faster.

“Other assistance is already available through the State and Commonwealth Governments to help with recovery costs, including $5000 grants for electricity and sewerage reconnection, up to $50,000 for uninsured homeowners to rebuild or repair damaged homes, and concessional small business loans of up to $250,000.”