New multimillion-dollar funding package to help the Far North recover from EX-TC Jasper

  • Joint media release with:
  • Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia
  • Steven Miles MP, Premier of Queensland
  • Senator Murray Watt, Minister for Emergency Management, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Nikki Boyd MP, Queensland Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery
  • Michael Healy MP, Queensland Minister for Tourism

The Albanese and Miles Governments are delivering further disaster assistance to help Far North Queensland continue its recovery following ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

The exceptional circumstances assistance is jointly-funded by the Albanese and Miles Governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Today’s announcement will further support local tourism, clean-up efforts and invest in specialised recovery staff:

  • A $24.25 million Tourism Recovery and Resilience Program will develop a grants program for Far North operators who have been cut-off or heavily affected by the extreme weather. Grants will be made available to impacted operators to re-establish their business, continue employing their staff and rebuild stronger with flood-resilient infrastructure such as solar panels and other mitigation infrastructure. The program will also fund a tourism and events marketing campaign to attract more visitors back to the region.
  • A $20 million Clean-Up Program will assist in response to both ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the South East Queensland storms. FNQ Councils and state agencies will be supported as they continue their work clearing debris from community assets, parks, national parks, beaches and waterways.
  • Cyclone Industry Recovery and Resilience Officer (CIRRO) Program - three specialised resilience officers will work with FNQ industry, Councils and impacted farmers to support local community-led, regionally-coordinated recovery approaches to disaster risk reduction for future events.
  • Recovery Project Managers - in recognition of their resourcing constraints, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council and Douglas Shire Council will also receive a small amount of direct funding to engage project managers and other skilled workers to design, coordinate and manage extraordinary recovery efforts following TC Jasper.

Previously announced financial assistance for impacted residents, businesses and councils also remains available, including Personal Hardship Assistance grants and Disaster Assistance Loans.

Residents in need of disaster support can call the Queensland Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“This beautiful place has been ravaged by this disaster, and we want to help Far North Queensland get back on its feet as soon as possible.

“Disaster recovery at this scale will take time so it’s vital we keep making these investments so that Far North Queensland can bounce back faster and stronger.

“Tourism in particular is one of the lifeblood industries of Far North Queensland, and we want to make sure businesses hit hard can not only survive but thrive again.

“We’re also giving a boost to clean-up efforts and focused recovery for primary producers and the councils of Wujal Wujal and Douglas, which will make a major difference for the region."

Quotes attributable to Queensland Premier Steven Miles:

“Today’s announcement is more evidence that our governments stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Far North Queensland communities.

“Tourism is a pillar of the economy and we will do everything we can to ensure local businesses and households are supported through this time.

“This additional extraordinary funding comes on top of the $64 million package we announced before Christmas, and of course the millions in Personal Hardship Assistance that’s already in the pockets of residents.

“We know there’s still a long road to travel until the Far North has fully recovered from Jasper, but this announcement today significantly strengthens our work.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

“This latest package is informed by our conversations with councils, industry and the community, and I acknowledge their strength and resilience in these tough times.

“With investments like the $20 million Clean-Up Program we’re removing the financial strain on councils, giving them full confidence to keep going with their great work.

“Employing recovery and resilience officers to help FNQ primary producers, and recovery project managers for Wujal Wujal and Douglas will also ensure we’re achieving the best possible outcomes that are informed by local experience in the Far North.”

Quotes attributable to minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Nikki Boyd:

“This is the next step in the recovery journey for the Far North.

“It’s funding that helps across the Far North, from the community and councils to cornerstone employers like tourism and primary industry.

“And we will keep working with councils and the Federal Government to develop further support.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Tourism Don Farrell:

“Australia’s tourism operators are remarkably resilient and many are already once again showing visitors the wonders of the region.

“This package will help those unable to re-open quickly to overcome this challenge and get back to what they do best – delivering unique, world-class tourism experiences to international and domestic visitors.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Tourism Minister Michael Healy:

"These funds will be a lifeblood for many businesses who remain closed in areas like Cape Tribulation and along the Captain Cook Highway, weeks after the cyclone and flooding hit the Far North.

“The support will be targeted at helping them retain skilled staff and improve their operations, while encouraging visitors to start getting ready to plan a trip north.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of our region, and we are steadfast in our commitment to support tourism operators through this difficult period.”

Quotes attributable to CEO, Tourism and Events Queensland Patricia O'Callaghan:

“This is a multi-faceted funding package that will be warmly welcomed by the tourism industry in the Far North, the majority of whom have reopened their doors to visitors while simultaneously rebuilding after the extreme weather.

“Far North Queensland is one of the most unique and awe-inspiring places on the planet so we’re incredibly excited to promote it to the world and let everyone know that now is the time to visit for that dream holiday or event.”

Quotes attributable to CEO, Tourism Tropical North Queensland Mark Olsen:

“The support will provide relief for Tropical Queensland tourism operators who missed their peak season over Christmas and New Year and are unlikely to see significant visitor numbers until Easter.

“It is critical for the businesses that remain isolated to receive assistance so they can continue to pay wages and make the repairs necessary to resume trading once their access roads are open.”

More information

Tourism Recovery and Resilience Program – $24.25 million

  • $10 million grant program for exceptional impacts to support the tourism industry in Tropical North Queensland. The grant program focuses on supporting businesses that have been isolated or unable to trade due to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Jasper flooding.
  • $10 million in Building Resilient Tourism Infrastructure grants will be available to tourism operators who were severely impacted to rebuild stronger with flood-resilient infrastructure such as solar panels and other mitigation infrastructure.
  • $3 million for event promotions and a tourism campaign to attract more visitors back to the region.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority will administer the funding that will be delivered by the Department of Tourism and Sport to council areas including Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Douglas, Hope Vale, Mareeba, Tablelands, Wujal Wujal and Yarrabah.

This package is in addition to the $5 million tourism recovery package that is also being jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments, featuring discounted airfares and accommodation and disaster recovery assistance grants.

Clean-up Program – $20 million

  • Available to impacted councils and state agencies in response to both ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the South East Queensland storms.
  • Funding for extraordinary clean-up activities and damage assessments of community and recreational assets, parks, waterways and beaches, and national parks.

Cyclone Industry Recovery and Resilience Officers – $2.25 million

  • Will allow state officers to be employed to support primary producers impacted by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper with their immediate recovery.
  • Work undertaken in the roles will also help build resilience to future natural disasters within the local sector.

Recovery Project Managers – $1 million

  • Managers will coordinate complex relief and recovery efforts in consultation with Douglas, Wujal Wujal and Scenic Rim councils, communities and state agencies.

Further information on DRFA exceptional circumstances measures can be found at Queensland Government - Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: 02 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555