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Media Release by The Hon John Cobb MP

Australian Government Assistance following Cyclone Larry

The Minister for Community Services, John Cobb, today said the Australian Government would deliver support and assistance to families and businesses affected by the recent Tropical Cyclone Larry in Queensland.

‘The Australian Government recognises the trauma suffered by those adversely affected by Cyclone Larry and my Department is working with other government agencies to provide support and assistance to victims,’ Mr Cobb said.

Mr Cobb said an issue to date has been the access to cash, which has proved difficult due to the lack of power in the Banks. The Australian Government is pursuing all avenues to ensure that priority is given in the recovery area to ensure that cash is available today as we understand how important it is for people to have cash to buy essentials for their families.

‘The Queensland government has established 4 multi-agency service centres located at Edmonton, Atherton, Babinda and Innisfail.’

‘In addition, Centrelink now have staff available at the State Recovery Centre in Innisfail and more staff are travelling from Cairns to Innisfail to assist.’

‘Centrelink has offered to provide additional social workers to assist the Queensland Government recovery effort at Innisfail.’

‘The Prime Minister announced ex gratia payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child, which will be available to those whose principal place of residence was destroyed by Cyclone Larry.

‘The payments will also be available to victims whose homes are likely to be rendered uninhabitable for a minimum of two weeks due to structural damage, as a result of power and/or water supply ceasing or residence becoming inaccessible.

‘We are also making available additional assistance for those affected by the cyclone including a one-off income support programme for affected farmers and small business people, equivalent to the Newstart Allowance for six months.

‘This will not be asset tested in relation to the capital value of farm or business assets.

‘By delivering this assistance, farmers and small business people, deprived of incomes, will be able to focus on the immediate task of rebuilding their farm or business without the worry of how to pay their day to day bills,’ Mr Cobb said.

Centrelink will administer ex-gratia assistance and those seeking assistance are asked to contact the Australian Government Cyclone Larry relief hotline on 1802 002 (available 24 hours, 7 days a week).

Individuals and families seeking emotional, physical, financial and accommodation assistance are asked to contact the Queensland Department of Communities on 1800 440 074.

The Queensland Police Service can be contacted regarding locating evacuated persons on 1800 100 188.

Related information
Disaster Assist website