Help available for ECEC centres affected by Northern Queensland flooding

by Freya Lucas

February 05

The Queensland Government has extended disaster assistance to include small business in Townsville, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, affected by the record-breaking monsoonal floods which continue to impact Northern Queensland.

 

Assistance is being made available through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is in addition to the assistance already activated for the region.

 

Queensland Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the Commonwealth and Queensland governments were committed to providing on-going support to impacted communities and services.

 

“Through the DRFA, we are now providing assistance to Cloncurry Shire Council to help cover the cost of clean-up and repairs associated with the floods and to help residents recover,” Ms Reynolds said.

 

“Townsville is at the centre of this disaster event so we are pleased to be able to provide assistance to small businesses (such as ECEC services) who have suffered losses because of this event.”

 

Ms Reynolds also indicated that personal hardship assistance payments and essential services reconnection grants were also now available across the entire Townsville Local Government Area, for families affected by the rains.

 

Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said assistance would continue to be made available to the communities and sectors that need it the most, acknowledging the important role ECEC services play in supporting communities in times of natural disaster.

 

“Small businesses are absolutely vital to Queensland’s economy and it’s important we provide support and relief as some already start to count the costs of the flooding in Townsville,” Ms Crawford said, outlining that business impacted by the weather event can now access concessional loans of up to $250,000, and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000.

 

A range of DRFA assistance is now available in 12 local council areas in northern Queensland, the councils are: Burdekin, Cairns, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Cook, Douglas, Hope Vale, Palm Island, Richmond, Townsville, Whitsunday and Wujal Wujal.

 

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au.

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