The significant weather events over the past few days have been unprecedented for our region. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the flooding and we as a region will get through these challenging times together. We are a strong, resilient community and amidst all the horror it has been wonderful to see the kindness and support being offered by community members to those who need assistance.
As your Economic Development and Regional Tourism Organisation, we are working closely with the relevant local, state and federal agencies to work through this period and ensure our community has access to the assistance and information they need.
Townsville City Council is working with national not-for-profit organisation, GIVIT, to manage any donations during the severe weather event. 100% of the donations made to GIVIT will be used to purchase essential items from local providers. Those who would like to donate can do so by visiting givit.org.au.
Jointly-funded Commonwealth/State Disaster Relief Funding Arrangements are now available to all Townsville City Council residents impacted by flooding. The Burdekin Shire Council areas of Barratta, Cromarty, Giru, Horseshoe Lagoon, Jerona, Majors Creek (Burdekin Shire), Mount Surround, Shirbourne, and Upper Haughton are also eligible. This financial assistance can be accessed to help cover the costs of essential items – such as food, medication and clothing. Up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, is provided to people experiencing financial hardship as a result of flooding. Affected residents can go to communityrecovery.qld.gov.au to apply.
The Federal and State Governments are also offering relief measures to assist Townsville's small businesses affected by the weather event. The 'Category C' Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements include concessional loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 for small businesses in the Townsville local government area. Small business owners impacted by flooding can call the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1800 623 946 for assistance and information on the concessional loans that are available.
This morning it was positive to see that the Bruce Highway re-opened either side of Townsville, ensuring North Queensland residents have access to supplies; however, the Finders Highway between Townsville and Charters Towers is expected to still be cut for some days at the Macrossan Bridge.
Authorities continue to urge residents in flood-affected areas to avoid unnecessary travel and stay out of flood waters due to the unprecedented flood levels and ongoing wet weather. We are not completely out of the woods yet, and while the road to recovery will be tough, you are not on your own.