Disaster assistance for flooded Wide Bay Burnett

The view from above of this Wheatlands farm shows how widespread the water is. Picture: Abbey Williams

A range of disaster assistance measures are now available in the Queensland local government areas of Bundaberg, Cherbourg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett following the devastating heavy rainfall and flooding associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth from 7 – 10 January 2022.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the heavy rainfall and flooding caused widespread damage in Queensland’s Wide Bay-Burnett region.

“It’s been a very intense period. The Bureau of Meteorology reported 649 millimetres of rain at Mt Kanigan, 506 millimetres at Glenwood and 342 millimetres at Kilkivan – all within a 24-hour period, which is incredibly rare,” Minister McKenzie said.

“This event is still unfolding, but we already know that the severe flooding has tragically resulted in the loss of life, in people being evacuated from their homes, and in significant damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

“Personal Hardship Assistance is now available to support impacted residents in the hardest hit areas of Tiaro, Bauple, Gundiah and Glenwood in the Fraser Coast and the localities of Goomeri, Kilkivan, Tansey, Miva, Woolooga, Theebine, Gunalda and Booubyjan in the Gympie region.

“These are grants of up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, as well as grants to safely reconnect essential services.

“Assistance is also being made available through the DRFA to help the Cherbourg, Fraser Coast and Gympie local councils cover the cost of clean-up efforts and the repair of essential public infrastructure.

“In addition, low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to help flood impacted primary producers and small businesses in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said record rainfalls in parts of Wide Bay-Burnett region had caused major damage and the broader region is bracing for further impacts.

“In recognition of the impact the floods are having on the local economy, freight subsidies of up to $5,000 will also be made available to eligible primary producers in Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett and South Burnett who experienced inundation,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we have already seen people lose their lives in floodwaters and it’s a tragic reminder to all Queenslanders that if it’s flooded, forget it.

“Queensland’s emergency services staff continue to work around the clock in response to the ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth flooding and we will assist all impacted councils and communities.

For information on Personal Hardship Assistance, contact the Community Recovery Hotline 1800 173 349 or visit www.qld.gov.au/community/disasters-emergencies.

For more information on loans for primary producers and small businesses phone Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 or visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au.

For information on the freight subsidies visit www.daf.qld.gov.au or phone the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.

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