Breaking: Major relief for disaster victims from Queensland Government

Breaking Major relief for disaster victims from Queensland Government

In the wake of the extreme weather event lashing across Queensland, the state government has announced emergency funding for affected businesses. Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFAs) are available for businesses in affected areas that need help getting back on their feet.

The funding includes loans, subsidies, and grants to cover a range of business expenses from working capital to freight costs. It is available across numerous local government areas in Western Queensland and South-East Queensland.

You can find more details about who is eligible and what funding is available below.

 

Who the funding is for

Affected businesses in the following areas may be eligible:

Western Queensland

  • Barcoo
  • Boulia
  • Bulloo
  • Burke
  • Cloncurry
  • Diamantina
  • Flinders
  • Longreach
  • McKinlay
  • Mount Isa
  • Paroo
  • Quilpie
  • Winton

 

South East Queensland

  • Brisbane
  • Fraser Coast
  • Gold Coast
  • Gympie
  • Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Moreton Bay
  • Noosa
  • North Burnett
  • Redland
  • Scenic Rim
  • Somerset
  • South Burnett
  • Southern Downs
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toowoomba

 

What’s included

Disaster Assistance Loans

Under the DRFA, affected businesses can access a Disaster Assistance Loan up to $250,000. This can be paid back over a maximum of 10 years.

These loans are intended to assist businesses in re-establishing normal operations. They can be used to repair or replace damaged equipment and buildings or to meet rent and rates requirements.

Under the scheme, loans must be secured by a mortgage of land or another asset approved by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).

 

Essential Working Capital Loans

Businesses can also access loans of up to $100,000 to cover working capital expenses, payable over a maximum of 10 years.

This relief can cover expenses like:

  • Wages
  • Rent or rates
  • Creditor payments
  • Items essential to business operations, such as fuel.

These loans must also be secured by a mortgage of land or another asset approved by the QRIDA.

 

Freight subsidies for primary producers

Freight subsidy payments of up to $5,000 are available for eligible primary producers.

These grants can cover expenses like:

  • Moving emergency fodder for livestock
  • Moving building or fencing materials
  • Moving animals purchased to restock
  • Machinery and other equipment

Primary producers could also access farm management grants, replanting or restocking grants, and recovery and resilience grants.

 

Special Disaster Recovery Grants

Special Disaster Recovery Grants may also be available under the DRFA.

These can provide up to $25,000 for small businesses and up to $50,000 for primary producers.

These grants can cover expenses like:

  • Hiring or purchasing equipment and materials
  • Removing debris
  • Replacing fencing
  • Repairs to premises and internal fittings not covered by insurance
  • Other costs associated with clean-up and recovery processes

 

Emergency hardship assistance

Emergency Hardship Assistance grants are available for eligible Queenslanders in target areas who have been impacted by the recent flood.
Individuals can receive up to $180 per person and $900 for a family of five or more.
Grants are available for residents in the following local government areas:
  •  Brisbane
  •  Gympie
  •  Ipswich
  •  Lockyer Valley
  •  Logan
  •  Moreton Bay
  •  Noosa
  •  North Burnett
  •  Somerset"

 

Australian Government disaster recovery payment

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment can help if you’ve been significantly affected by a disaster. It’s a lump sum payment to help you if you’re in a Local Government Area that’s been declared for a disaster. Examples of major damage to your principal place of residence can include:
  • it’s been destroyed or must be demolished
  • it’s been declared structurally unsound
  • this disaster has caused major damage to the interior
  • this disaster has exposed the interior to the elements
  • sewage has gotten inside your home
  • this disaster has significantly damaged a major asset or assets you own at your property.
If you’re eligible you’ll get:
  • $1,000 per adult
  • $400 for each child younger than 16.

Read more here.

 

What Assistance is Available for Individuals?

Financial assistance is available for eligible flood-affected communities from both the Queensland and Australian Governments.

Personal Hardship Financial Assistance is available for Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Somerset, and Sunshine Coast and includes:

Essential Household Contents Grants

There are grants of up to $1765 for single adults and up to $5,300 for couples/families. These grants are for those who are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance. If eligible you may receive financial assistance towards replacing or repairing essential household contents, such as beds, linen and white goods, that have been lost or damaged in a disaster.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

This is a lump-sum payment for eligible people adversely affected by the South East Queensland floods.

Disaster Recovery Allowance

This is a short-term payment to help people who have lost income as a direct result of the floods in South East Queensland.

Further initiatives introduced for business owners in QLD

Legal Aid Queensland

Businesses can call the Legal Aid Natural Disaster Legal Helpline on 1300 527 700 to get help with issues they may face when their property has been damaged by a natural disaster or severe weather. The Natural disaster legal help page has a range of resources available to assist businesses who have been impacted by flooding on leased and commercial premises and for businesses to receive flood and cyclone legal help.

Mental health support

There is a range of mental health and wellbeing resources including tips, advice and support that have been developed by the Queensland and Australian Governments and other agencies to help small business owners.

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is a free and confidential mental health coaching program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners, including sole traders the support they need.

 

Small business financial counsellors

The Small Business Financial Counselling Program provides assistance to small businesses that are experiencing hardship and have no alternative source of impartial support. The Australian and Queensland Governments provide funding to deliver the program through the Rural Financial Service Southern and North Queensland.

Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service

The Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service provides free financial
counselling support to help tourism operators.

 

Natural Disaster Business Survey

The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training has opened a Natural disaster business survey to understand the impact of rainfall and flooding on businesses in the South East Queensland area as well as Maryborough, the Fraser Coast and Toowoomba to determine the assistance they require.

This is a longer-term plan to assist business and responses received from this process will be used to inform potential joint State and Federal government disaster recovery assistance for small business.

This survey will remain open as long as required to enable time for impacted businesses to respond.

 

It’s crucial we pull together to help businesses impacted by these extreme weather events, and we’re happy we can bring you a bit of good news in these trying times. If you have any questions about the funding or need assistance with your application, we’re here for you.

Reach out to your Link Advisors and we’ll help you get the ball rolling.