More financial support for flood-hit north Queensland
Disaster payments of up to $1000 per person are available for flood-hit northwest Queensland as the scale of the recovery slowly becomes clear.
The full damage bill to homes, businesses and cattle stations is not yet known, and thousands of livestock are believed to have perished in the monsoonal event.
Essential services including sewerage and electricity in Burketown are slowly being restored and damage assessments are under way to ensure it's safe for evacuated residents to return once the water level drops.
The federal disaster recovery payments are now available for residents in Boulia, Burke and Mount Isa.
The one-off payments of $1000 for adults and $400 for children are in addition to the disaster recovery allowance available in Boulia, Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Doomadgee, Mornington and Mount Isa.
This allowance covers up to 13 weeks' income support for people who have lost income because of a major disaster.
Federal and state governments have "been working around the clock" to deliver rescue equipment, supplies and support to flood-affected areas, federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said.
"This latest financial support builds on the assistance already rolled out, and will help Queenslanders with urgent needs like food and clothing, as well as providing some security to people who've experienced work disruptions as a result of this weather event," he said in a statement on Friday.
The funding announcement comes as Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner toured the disaster-hit towns of Burketown and Doomadgee.
"Queenslanders are no strangers to natural disasters, but it is always heartbreaking when homes and livelihoods are impacted," he said in a statement.
"It's important to be here in the northwest to survey the damage, speak to locals and determine what assistance we can provide to help communities recover."
Queensland Recovery Authority chief executive Jake Ellwood is in Mount Isa to tour recovery efforts and emergency fodder drops to stock have begun.
Flood repairs to the Barkly Highway, the main sealed road link between Queensland and the Northern Territory, will take at least a week and scores of dirt and gravel roads that connect cattle stations are still underwater.
The latest support is in addition to the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State disaster assistance being delivered to 41 Queensland council areas.
Assessments are under way to determine if higher levels of funding are required.