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$20 million handed out to Queenslanders impacted by TC Debbie

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The Federal Government is helping Queenslanders get back on their feet fast after Tropical Cyclone Debbie with more than $20 million in assistance paid to affected-Queenslanders.

Federal Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said more than 50,000 grants had been paid out to people in affected areas across the state, most of them Immediate Hardship Assistance grants.

“This means even more individuals and families have been able to buy the things they needed immediately after the cyclone, things like food, clothing, water and medication,” she said.

Ms Fentiman said the Community Recovery Hotline had responded to more than 50,000 calls to provide assistance to thousands of Queenslanders.

“This hotline has been key in providing the financial assistance and emotional support people need as they start to recover from this widespread disaster,” she said.

“Our Community Recovery online portal, which has been in operation for the first time in a disaster, has received more than 90,000 grant applications.”

People affected by this disaster in the Whitsunday, Mackay, Isaac, Logan, Gold Coast, Scenic Rim and Rockhampton areas can still apply for grants and access support services.

Ms Fentiman said Immediate Hardship Assistance grants would wind up on Wednesday 19 April for Rockhampton residents, and Sunday 23 April 2017 for people in the other activated areas.

“People can still use the self-recovery app, go to www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery or contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 for assistance,” she said.

“In addition, our community recovery hubs continue to operate in Mackay, Bowen, Proserpine, Cannonvale, Beenleigh and Rockhampton.

“These hubs will continue to operate over the Easter break.

“Affected residents can talk to community recovery workers, receive referrals for community organisations and other government agencies and those who are experiencing financial hardship can apply for grants.”

Ms Fentiman said more than 480 community recovery workers continued to work on the ground in affected areas across Queensland offering support and assistance.

Other grants such as income-tested Essential Household Contents Grants and Structural Assistance Grants are also available for people who are uninsured – or not covered for these disasters – and unable to meet the costs of replacing essential goods or repairs to their homes.

Grants are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

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