Flood-ravaged Queensland set to be included in federal government’s emergency declaration, despite earlier refusal
Queensland is set to be included in the federal government’s state of emergency declaration of the flood disaster, despite Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s earlier refusal of the offer.
- The Prime Minister says 5,748 ADF personnel were deployed in flood-hit areas
- He said Queensland would be included in the national emergency declaration
- Ms Palaszczuk initially rejected the offer saying the state had used its own powers to manage the crisis
This morning, the Premier rejected the Prime Minister’s move to include Queensland in the declaration, arguing it was needed earlier.
But the Prime Minister this afternoon said he would hold a meeting with the governor-general tonight to include Queensland in the declaration along with New South Wales.
Mr Morrison said the Queensland Premier had “every opportunity” to write to him and ask for an emergency declaration a week ago but “she didn’t choose to do that”.
“I think there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding about what the state of emergency declaration entails,” Mr Morrison said.
“It does not impact on the flow of funding support of defence force assistance or any of those things, that is all flowing.
“What it does is it assists the Commonwealth government in managing the regulatory issues in a more streamlined way, which particularly becomes more relevant as you move through the recovery phase.”
A spokesperson for the Premier’s office said it was a decision for the Commonwealth.
“It doesn’t require the Premier’s agreement,” they said.
Mr Morrison said the federal government had deployed 5,748 ADF personnel across Queensland and New South Wales to assist with the flood disaster recovery, which was four times the the number deployed in the 2011 Brisbane floods.
Flood victims to receive financial support
Mr Morrison said 400,000 claims to Services Australia had been processed, resulting in $480 million of emergency financial support.
Queensland residents have received $170 million of that support.
Ms Palaszczuk said the state government had also made $7.72 million worth of payments in the form of community recovery grants with the state’s insurance claims now topping $1 billion.
She said the Lockyer Valley was the area of “greatest concern” with the state receiving 1,343 applications for assistance from that region, 54 farmers reporting catastrophic impacts and 22 with major impacts.
The Premier said 178 damage assessments have been completed in the Lockyer Valley for 169 houses and nine commercial properties with 102 of those properties flooded and 43 houses considered to have moderate damage.
In Grantham, 19 houses had moderate flood damage and 13 had minor impacts. Seven people were still in the Grantham evacuation centre.
Ms Palaszczuk said Energex had now restored power to 180,000 Queenslanders who were impacted by the floods.
Children hard-hit by floods
Major General Jake Ellwood said he has seen some “very sad and upsetting scenes” during his visit of flood-affected areas in Queensland.
“One of the common threads is the impact that the floods have had on children within affected properties. I think that feeling of a loss of sense of security,” he said.
Major General Ellwood urged anyone in need of support to contact the Community Recovery hotline.
He said some properties in Deagon on Brisbane’s bayside that were not affected by 2011 flooded had experienced “significant” impact.
“It is important to understand that this is a very different event to what we have seen before,” Major General Ellwood said.
“The community are working exceptionally hard, the community leaders, we went through houses that have been flooded and the home owners have worked themselves to the bone to get everything cleared out.”