Gillard Govt slammed by Coalition for delayed flood funds
THE Coalition has criticised the Federal Government for delays in getting disaster recovery payments to areas of Central Queensland.
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and senators Gary Humphries and Barnaby Joyce called a press conference in Canberra on Tuesday to demand people in towns like South Burnett receive Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments of $1000 for adults and $400 for children.
South Burnett was added to the list of eligible shires on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Attorney-General and Emergency Management Minister Mark Dreyfus and another for Joe Ludwig, the Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery, told APN Newsdesk the decision to add South Burnett to the list was made before the press conference was even called.
Senator Humphries claimed the government's response to the flooding crisis had been inconsistent and confused, adding Nicola Roxon's resignation as attorney-general had added to the woes.
Looking to future disasters he called for clarity about who gets these payments and when.
"People are waiting too long for these relief payments," Senator Humphries said.
"They deserve swift action by the Federal Government to get relief that they need to get back on their feet, to flush money back through communities that are obviously in some economic and social distress.
"Until today there was no indication that the people in those areas were going to get access to these payments."
Mr O'Dowd began lobbying for federal assistance in his electorate as soon as the extend of damage in his electorate became clear.
He said the damage bill would be substantial.
"Things have been slow but fortunately things are now turning around," Mr O'Dowd said.
"I can't express enough, the damage that has been done to the people of my electorate. Two-thirds of my electorate has been severely damaged. People all along the Burnett River and other people of Banana Shire and the South Burnett and the Central Highlands have been unduly affected."