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01 March 2022


South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales are in the midst of an unfolding flood emergency.

Many communities have faced unprecedented flood levels, or floods not seen for many years.

As well as leading to the tragic loss of life, these floods have caused huge property damage, with thousands of Australians forced to leave their homes, or losing power.

Labor asked the Federal Government to extend disaster assistance to a wider range of regions and we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement to do so.

Now, it’s crucial that disaster assistance is provided quickly and efficiently, to help people get back on their feet as soon as possible. 

To assist with that, Labor calls on the Prime Minister to deploy Services Australia staff to communities that have been inundated by flood waters.

Currently, all applications for assistance must be made online, through a MyGov account.

The Morrison Government has been quietly shutting down Centrelink offices across Australia for the past two years.

It’s crises like the one we are seeing in Queensland where the need for face to face supports for Australians becomes critical.

Older Australians and people with disability are particularly vulnerable and need urgent assistance from the government to ensure they can access everything they need to keep safe. 

Not everyone has technology or a MyGov account and even those that do may not have power, to run their technology.

Deploying Services Australia staff to community centres would ensure that all disaster victims get the support they need.

The recovery from these floods is going to be hard for many Australians, especially in the wake of the pandemic. We can’t let red tape and formal processes become road blocks for disaster victims. 

We need all hands on deck, starting today.