Qld flood victims face funding means test


Flood-affected Queenslanders must pass a means test before qualifying for assistance from the state’s $741 million flood recovery package.

The multimillion-dollar package aims to give residents options to either refit or sell their damaged homes, with funding to be evenly split with the Commonwealth.

Federal funding was only approved this week after Prime Minister Scott Morrison initially refused, insisting the state was primarily responsible for housing.

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While finally agreeing to jointly fund the package, the prime minister foreshadowed caveats which have been revealed to include a means test

Acting Premier Cameron Dick confirmed a means test would be applied, warning not everyone could be compensated.

“The Prime Minister asked for a means test to be applied,” Mr Dick said on Friday.

“We’ve agreed with that and that’s part of the guidelines that we will be developing – that’s just the reality.

“These are very significant events. And it’s not possible to compensate everyone for every loss that they have sustained.”

Mr Morrison maintained that the bulk of the $741 million package, which includes funding for flood-proofing measures and a property buyback program, was for matters that were usually the responsibility of the state.

“Queenslanders just want these issues to be addressed and for funding to continue to support residents and businesses in need,” the Prime Minister said.

“I know many people are still doing it tough and I want to ensure the only focus of my Government is to support their needs.”

About 7800 homes were damaged during the recent Queensland floods, 4000 of which are uninhabitable, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority said.

The package was intended to focus on the “longer-term need to increase resilience” amid the ongoing threat of natural catastrophes.

It includes $275 million to retrofit 5500 homes, $100 million to elevate 1000 homes and a $350 million residential buyback program.

It also includes an increase in structural assistance grants from just under $15,000 to $50,000, and another $30 million to assist local governments.


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