More disaster assistance for Queensland in the aftermath of ex-TC Kirrily

The government has expanded the scope of disaster assistance for Queensland residents to help them get back on their feet in the aftermath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Kirrily. This is the second major disaster event to impact the state in quick succession, with Queensland yet to recover the devastation caused by ex-TC Jasper.  

Eligible Queensland residents can apply for Personal Hardship Assistance grants of up to $180 for individuals or up to $900 for families of five or more people, to help cover immediate essential needs relating to food, clothing, medicines or temporary accommodation.  

Other relief and support measures to assist homes and families reconnect with essential services such as electricity, water and sewerage is available through pre-existing Disaster Funding Recovery Arrangements (DFRA), jointly provided via the federal and state governments.  

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt highlighted the immediate assistance that Personal Hardship Assistance grants can provide for eligible residents.  

“I met a number of affected residents when I was in Townsville today and I know they need help fast,” Minister Watt said. 

“The announcement today of Personal Hardship Assistance grants will enable impacted residents in Townsville and the Burdekin Shire to cover the costs of life’s essentials, particularly perishable items.” 

The financial sector steps up to lend a hand 

Along with government assistance, the financial sector has also stepped up to provide emergency support to impacted residents in Queensland.  

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has announced that it will provide Emergency Assistance to its customers and the community in North Queensland affected by ex-TC Kirrily.  

CBA’s Emergency Assistance package includes a range of support measures, including: 

  • Providing customised payment arrangements for a variety of loans 
  • Waiving bank fees and charges 
  • Emergency accommodation may be available to eligible CBA customers 
  • Restructuring loan agreements for existing loans and business customers 
  • Waiving fees and notice periods for early access to Term Deposits.  

Commonwealth Bank’s Retail Banking Services Group Executive, Angus Sullivan said: “Our thoughts are with those in Queensland who are affected by the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Kirrily, and we are here to support our customers and employees.” 

One of Queensland’s largest insurers, RACQ has also lent its support to the Queensland community that’s doing it tough right now.  

A number of Mobile Member Centres have been deployed on the ground by RACQ to reach out to affected members of the community, with RACQ’s Chief Executive Insurance Trent Sayers assuring that more help is on its way.  

“We have both property and motor assessors on standby and our supply chain is well-equipped to respond to the anticipated impact and claim volumes,” he said. 

“For members whose homes have been severely damaged, we can arrange emergency make-safe work or organise temporary accommodation. We can also provide cash payments for members to make emergency purchases,” Mr Sayers said.