Disaster assistance available following south Queensland low

Queensland Government media release

Disaster assistance is now available to the North Burnett and South Burnett regional councils after an east coast low off the south Queensland coast led to intense rainfall and flash flooding in late July.

The assistance, provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, covers the cost of cleaning up and repairing roads and other public infrastructure damaged by the rainfall and flooding from 20 to 23 July.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt said that the low-pressure system caused damaging winds and isolated intense rainfall across central and southern Queensland.

“There were reports that more than 100 millimetres of rain fell in the South Burnett area during the event, with up to 90 millimetres in certain parts of the North Burnett area,” Senator Watt said.

“The heavy rainfall and resulting flash flooding damaged essential public infrastructure, including roads, and isolated some residents.

“This rain further damaged some roads that had recently been repaired after the previous season’s floods.

“The activation of the DRFA for the North Burnett and South Burnett councils will ensure they can restore the infrastructure as soon as possible without imposing additional financial burdens on council budgets.”

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said that the speed and severity of the deluge caught out dozens of people who were unprepared for the resulting unseasonal winter flooding.

“This flooding caused significant damage and emergency services needed to conduct multiple swift-water rescues across the region as people were trapped by the rising waters,” Minister Ryan said.

“The activation of the DRFA will ensure the councils will be reimbursed for eligible costs associated with the clean-up activities and reconstruction works.

“The Australian and Queensland governments are working closely together and with the affected councils to support their ongoing recovery efforts and identify where further assistance can be provided.

“Support requested will continue to be provided, as these areas face the challenge of getting back on their feet after being hit time and time again,” he said.

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au