Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

First anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Larry

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, will today attend an event to commemorate the one year anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Larry in Innisfail.

Mr Brough is representing the Prime Minister, John Howard, at the event.

"Today is an emotional day in that we remember the devastation Tropical Cyclone Larry had on the north Queensland coast, hinterland and beyond," Mr Brough said.

"Devastation was caused not only to homes, farms, businesses and parklands but it also had a terrible impact on our families and communities.

"The Howard Government maintains its commitment to supporting Australians affected by natural disasters, such as Tropical Cyclone Larry, the recent Western Australian Cyclones and the recent bushfires in Victoria and Tasmania.

"We provided significant assistance to people affected by Tropical Cyclone Larry – totalling $277.8 million to support communities directly affected by the cyclone."

The package included:

  • Over $140.5 million in grants to farmers and business owners;
  • Over $47.2 million for wage subsidies for employers, including farmers;
  • A $40 million advance under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements that assisted the Queensland Government with recovery efforts;
  • Over $37.9 million in ex-gratia payments for individuals who lost their homes;
  • Over $8.8 million for income support payments for farmers and small business owners;
  • Over $2.3 million for Fuel Excise Relief; and
  • $1.1 million contribution to the Prime Minister’s and Premier’s Cyclone Larry Relief Appeal.

"The Howard Government also provided additional support through its Emergency Relief program, Commonwealth Housing and Infrastructure Program and the National Respite for Carers Program.

"This assistance package has substantially helped the families and communities in Far North Queensland to recover and rebuild this vital part of Australia.

"While it has had a devastating effect, the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Larry also brought out the best in many Australians, who gave generously either with their time or through donations," Mr Brough said.