27 October 2022

Statements by Senators

Sadly, the floods continue to have a severe impact right across the eastern states of Australia and in my home state of Victoria. The Australian government has moved very quickly to provide payments and coordinated relief efforts with state and local governments. Those impacted by the floods in affected council areas can now claim $1,000 payments for every adult and $400 for every child. There is also disaster recovery allowance available in a wider range of council areas. This allowance is a 13-week payment at the JobSeeker rate for people who have lost income as a result of these floods.

The government has also authorised the deployment of up to 550 Australian Defence Force personnel. I really want to place on the record my gratitude for the work they are doing to assist flood-impacted communities. As of today, around 400 ADF personnel are supporting local authorities with flood related tasks right across regional Victoria, including Echuca, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Bendigo.

While these floods continue to have a terrible impact on many communities, as is so often the case in our darkest days we are seeing so many examples of Australians pulling together to help each other out. I saw a story recently, out of Skipton, about a working bee supported by the local Lions club and the Skipton Football Netball Club. The clubhouse has been used as a relief hub and base of operations for volunteers. This is another great example of the Australian spirit and how we look after each other when times are tough.

I say thank you to all the volunteers, emergency workers and ADF personnel who are out there currently, on the ground, helping the most vulnerable.