Free help for victims of CQ bushfires
HELP is now available for people impacted by the bushfires, but you need to have your need your driver licence, Medicare card and bank account details to get paid.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman visited the Gracemere Recovery Hub yesterday and talked with locals impacted by the Kabra/Stanwell fire which lead to over 8000 evacuating the Kabra, Stanwell and Gracemere area on Wednesday.
As of Sunday morning, the State Government had paid out $178,000 and had over 1000 applications submitted by people impacted by fires in the Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton local government areas.
Of those, 84 were from Gracemere. "While I was there for 45 minutes, there was a steady stream of people coming in for support and counselling,” Mrs Fentiman told The Morning Bulletin.
"They were very, very thankful of the incredible work of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Rural Fire Brigades.”
Mrs Fentiman said she spoke with a couple from Stanwell who tried to evacuate but were cut off.
She said they told her of the "very frightening” experience.
Mrs Fentiman said she heard stories of neighbours helping each other, people in the community helping others with children or sick family members.
"It was really great hearing stories of people helping each other,” she said.
"Having to evacuate and deal with fires is a pretty traumatic event.”
Mrs Fentiman said as people across Central Queensland return to homes this week, that would be when the trauma hits many people.
"There's so much help available,” she said, pointing to the 22 staff at the Gracemere hub.
There are also staff at the Miriam Vale and Mackay hubs that will be working to help people this week as they return home and see the damage of fires in the past week.
Jacki Trad was here on Friday to inspect the fire fighting and recovering efforts, while Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Eungella.
WHAT GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Emergency Hardship Assistance of $180 per person and up $900 for a family to help people immediately with accommodation, food, essential clothing and medication.
Further grants are available to support people with property damage based on their individual situation.
The below grants are means tested
- Essential Household Contents: $150 per person (up to $750 for a family of five or more) to people who are directly impacted by the loss of one or more essential service (e.g. electricity, gas, water or sewerage) for more than five days.
- Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant: To help owner-occupied households reconnect essential services that were damaged by a disaster. Up to $200 towards a safety inspection for each essential service needing reconnection and up to $4200 towards repair work.
- Structural Assistance Grant: One-off payment towards the cost of repairs to uninsured, owner-occupied homes to ensure the home is habitable, secure and safe. Up to $10,995 for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples/families.
HOW CAN PEOPLE APPLY?
- Call the Community Recovery Hotline 1800 173 349.
- Online through the Community Recovery Portal, www.communityrecovery.qld.gov.au
- Visit the Community Recovery Hubs.
- People need their Driver Licence, Medicare Card, Bank Account details - call the recovery centre if they are lost.