Redlands eligible for state storm hardship payments 

BAY island residents have been warned they are ineligible to claim for federal government storm relief.

Bowman MP Andrew Laming said island residents who experienced hardship after last month’s cyclonic storm were ineligible for Centrelink’s Australian Government Disaster Relief Payment grants.

However, Mr Laming said Redland residents, who believe they suffered hardship after the storms, are eligible to apply for the National Disaster Recovery and Relief Arrangement payment, a joint state and federal government grant.

Residents wanting to make claims must now contact the state government Department of Communities, which held its final assistance meeting for southern Moreton Bay islands residents on Russell Island on Saturday.

Residents whose power was out for more than 48hours are eligible to apply to the state government’s Department of Communities for the hardship grant, which ranges from $180 to $900 for a family.

To receive the grant, residents must be assessed by a Community Recovery Centre and found to be eligible.

Bowman MP Andrew Laming said the National Disaster Recovery Relief Arrangement was for residents who needed money to buy items including fuel for generators because they had no power and to replace food that went off when there was no refrigeration.

Mr Laming also warned Redland residents not to apply for Centrelink’s Australian Government Disaster Relief Payment grants, which were only for Fraser Coast, Gympie, Gladstone and Bundaberg residents.

Emergency Management minister Nicola Roxon made the Centrelink grants of $1000 for adults and $400 for children available when she declared the four areas natural disaster zones.

“People are getting confused about what they are eligible to claim for after a mix up with payments for power outages in 2011,” Mr Laming said.

“After the 2011 floods, the minister said the southern bay islands were eligible for the $1000 Australian Government Disaster Relief Payment and now island residents are expecting it again.

“But this time, the minister has not declared the islands, or any part of Redlands, as one of the four affected areas.

“Up north there was flooding but down here the main problem was that the power was off,” he said.

Mr Laming said the payments were “demand driven” and the government was unlikely to know the full cost to the taxpayer of the payments until the May federal Budget.

“We’re still unsure whether the government will introduce another flood levy to cover the payment costs,” he said.

As flood clean-up efforts continued across Redland over the weekend, mayor Karen Williams thanked emergency services workers, SES, volunteers, Energex and council staff.

Council staff received more than 550 call-outs and crews are still cleaning up roads, footpaths and parks.

Power was restored to most of the city by Wednesday night but some parts of Birkdale and Ormiston were still experiencing outages on Friday morning.

Those who still don’t have power but their neighbours do, should phone Energex on 136 262.

Cr Williams also encouraged residents to take advantage of a free clean green waste kerbside collection on Monday, February 11.

Clean green waste from the storm, which will be recycled, must be out on the footpath by Sunday February 10.

No furniture, concrete or timber products will be accepted.

Cr Williams urged residents to remove dead leaves and clean out gutters in a bid to stay safe in the event of another severe storm or fire season.

“While we’ve recently experienced storms, it is also bushfire season so have a plan for both and make sure you have an emergency kit at home containing essential items that you may need including a first aid kit and a flashlight with extra batteries,” she said.

For a full Household Emergency Kit checklist

Redland residents are eligible for one of two government grants after Cyclone Oswald

Redland residents are eligible for one of two government grants after Cyclone Oswald

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