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NDRRA claims ill-informed and insulting

News Release

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

NDRRA claims ill-informed and insulting

The Federal Member for Capricornia’s claim that Queensland councils submitted questionable and potentially fraudulent claims for natural disaster funding is erroneous, insulting and desperate, the Local Government Association of Queensland says.

LGAQ President Margaret de Wit said Michelle Landry’s assertion that councils were dishonest in their reimbursement claims was a feeble defence of her government’s failure to pay $1.1 billion in Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) money to Queensland.

Ms Landry alleged that the funding was withheld because of dishonest submissions, including one by a council that claimed for four fire trucks after losing two in a bush fire.

“The example Michelle Landry used did not even occur in Queensland,” Mrs de Wit said.

“There is no record of any Queensland council making a claim for a single fire truck, let alone four, for at least the past five years. About $115 million worth of claims were deemed ineligible not unlawful, as Ms Landry claims, and these ineligible costs were identified by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), not the Federal Auditor General.”

Mrs de Wit said Ms Landry needed to apologise to all Queensland councils for her slanderous remarks.

“While she was making cheap, ill-informed remarks about local governments, council workers across Queensland were cleaning up after destructive storms over the weekend – as part of normal business for council and without any federal financial assistance as is always the case up to the NDRRA trigger point,” Mrs de Wit said.

“Frankly, I am fed up of hearing that councils are not doing enough to help communities recover from disasters or any assertion that they are claiming costs fraudulently.

“Councils are at the frontline of natural disasters and the first to respond in the aftermath of cyclones, severe storms and floods and help their communities recover.

“Sadly, Queensland councils are so used to disasters that it is second nature to respond swiftly. They don’t sit around thinking about who is picking up the tab for recovery works. They just get on with the job of cleaning up – this is what our communities expect.

“In return they expect the Federal Government to meet its funding obligations in a timely manner, not use unsubstantiated accusations to delay payment.”

NDRRA and mitigation funding are among the priorities outlined in the LGAQ’s Federal Election Policy Plan.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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