Australia

Australia: North Queensland recovering well from Cyclone Larry

L029/2007

Marking the first anniversary of Cyclone Larry, Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd today acknowledged the tremendous recovery effort that has helped people in far north Queensland affected by the disaster.

"Cyclone Larry had a devastating effect in far north Queensland many homes, businesses and buildings were either damaged or destroyed. There was substantial disruption to communities, industries and the broader economy," Minister Lloyd said.

"While the task of rebuilding still continues, Australians can be truly proud of what has been achieved in the past 12 months," he said.

Minister Lloyd said the Australian Government responded quickly and effectively after the cyclone hit.

The Australian Government developed a specially tailored financial assistance package to help people affected to rebuild their lives, and to support the regions long-term recovery including a range of measures in addition to those normally offered under the Australian Governments Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

"The Australian Government provided a $40 million advance to the Queensland Government under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements and in the year since, over $277 million in Australian Government assistance has been provided including ex-gratia payments, re-establishment of businesses grants, fuel excise relief, wage subsidy assistance and clean-up grants," Minister Lloyd said.

"Under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery arrangements, the Australian Government will reimburse the Queensland Government half of all state expenditure on personal hardship and distress assistance to cyclone victims, such as emergency food, accommodation, clothing and replacement of essential household items.

"The Australian Government will also reimburse up to 75 per cent of other eligible state expenditure, including funds provided to local governments and state departments for the restoration of essential public infrastructure."

"The anniversary of Cyclone Larry provides us with the opportunity to recognise the efforts of the many people involved in the massive recovery effort and celebrate the achievements made to date," Minister Lloyd said.

"While natural disasters cannot be prevented, the Australian Government is committed to alleviating their impact on Australian communities and is ready to assist whenever necessary."