Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Frank and his family live in Goodna in my electorate. Frank will be 80 soon. For the second time, first in 2011 and now with the recent flood, Frank's house was completely inundated and he has lost everything. Why has Frank received $2,000 less than New South Wales flood victims? Is it because Frank lives in Queensland?
I thank the member for his question. The answer is, no, that is not the reason. Across New South Wales and Queensland, there were floods of different intensity. In northern New South Wales, there was a one-in-500-year flood, as advised to us by the scientific agencies who advise us on these matters. The member opposite would know that whether it was in the Hawkesbury or in South-East Queensland, the recovery payments that were made to flood victims were consistent with the disaster recovery payments that have always been paid in response to floods or bushfires.
Those opposite may want to play politics with natural disasters but I am not going to do that. The federal government has made payments of $1.3 billion to 1.4 million Australians. The ADF has been on the ground in South-East Queensland—
The Prime Minister will resume his seat for one moment. I appreciate that these things are very emotional for members that are directly impacted by their communities. The member for Oxley has just received his final warning. He will not get another one. The member for Oxley will sit and listen in silence to the answer. The Prime Minister has the call.
I went to Enoggera Barracks with the Minister of Defence, and the Australian Defence Force had deployed—at four times the size of and almost a week faster than the response during the 2011 floods. I want to commend the ADF for the work they've done in south Queensland.
In addition to the disaster recovery payments that have been paid in Queensland, in addition to the extensive Australian Defence Force support that has been put in place, we have also joined with the Queensland government in a $558.5 million package of supports to support those impacted by the South East Queensland floods. The floods in northern New South Wales were a one-in-500-year event, and the advice we received from agencies was that those events qualified for an even higher level of funding that has ever been provided before because of the absolute intensify of that flood event in northern New South Wales.
We'll continue to stand with all of those affected by the floods—and the swift response, the swift provision of payments to all of those affected by the floods and the additional support provided to those in northern New South Wales, where, as we even speak, the waters went over the levee this morning—we will be there with them to support them each and every step of the way.