$50,000 grants announced for disaster-hit small businesses in Southeast QLD

$50,000 grants announced for disaster-hit small businesses in Southeast QLD

Photo: Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

Small businesses and non-profits in the Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim regions that have been directly affected by this summer's storm and flooding disaster will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000, thanks to fresh funding from the federal and state governments.

Larger grants of up to $75,000 will be available for affected primary producers, as part of an announcement that also includes a $20 million clean-up program.

At a press conference that brought together leaders from all three levels of government, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate noted people were "still traumatised and hurting out there", and encouraged victims to visit one of the city's community recovery hubs where officers would be able to assist.

"It's still part of disaster, the recovery part, and I’m so heartened that additional funding has been found – another $20 million in various forms, some for businesses as well, and it just makes you feel that the Queensland government and the Australian government’s got our back when we’re really down on the canvas," Mayor Tate said.

"Yes, there's more grants. . Instead of trying to work out how you can apply and access it, come to the recovery hub - we'll have officers there – bring your ID and we’ll help you fill the forms and access these funds so that it can from the announcement get to you as early, as quickly as possible, so that you can get your life back together."


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In the wake of some of the worst storms Southeast Queensland has ever experienced, the latest exceptional circumstances assistance is jointly funded through Commonwealth-state Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

"Our government is here for Queensland in this critical time of need. We are committed to helping Queensland communities recover from the devastating impacts of extreme weather events," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

"This support will deliver the expertise and the resources to keep the job going and ensure recovery efforts are seen through.

"We know it’s been a terrible start to the year for many Queenslanders, but we will continue to work with the Miles government to make sure the Southeast rebounds stronger than before."

The Prime Minister said the latest funding was in addition to Local Recovery and Resilience Grants of $1 million announced last Thursday for the three councils, and on top of additional support of $64 million provided in the region for tourism primary producers and small businesses.

By Sunday around $10.5 million had been funded to assist almost 60,000 people, on top of the $4.5 million that's been paid out to almost 26,000 people in Far North Queensland.

"We know that there is more to do, and we’re here to say that we’re putting our shoulder to the wheel to make sure that can be done," he said.

The Prime Minister will fly to Far North Queensland tomorrow to discuss recovery support, and will then travel to Victoria which is also dealing with flood woes.

"My heart goes out to all those who've been directly affected. And I say that governments - federal, state and local - will be here with you," Albanese said.

"But importantly as well, your fellow Australians, our thoughts are with you, just as our thoughts are with the people of central Victoria at the moment who are dealing with flood issues.

"All of this is a reminder that the science told us that climate change would mean there would be more extreme weather events and they would be more intense, and unfortunately we're seeing that play out with the number of events that we're having to deal with, right around Australia where over this period we've had events in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia that have been severe events."

Queensland Premier Steven Miles highlighted the sheer "massive" scale of the clean-up job ahead now that power is reconnected to homes and businesses.

"The sheer number of trees on footpaths, in parks, in schools and in people's backyards that need to be cut up hauled to a location, mulched up and reused, that’s a massive job," he said.

"We're also funding small business grants with this package, which is really important, particularly here on the Gold Coast, but across the three local affected areas. Small business really is the engine room of these economies, and those businesses that have been directly impacted can access."

Miles noted Energex had reconnected power to 130,000 homes, but emphasised it's the lightning strikes that tell the story of recent storms.

"Over a similar period last year we had 38,000 lightning strikes over that period. This year, we had 3.5 million, and they took down nearly 1000 power lines – it took 80,000 work hours to get them reconnected, 120 kilometres of wires, 150 poles had to be replaced," he added.

He said the government had received its largest ever number of grant applications for an event, as well as more than 2,000 people reaching out for mental health first aid.

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