Legislative Council: Tuesday, June 27, 2023


Flood Recovery Grant

276 The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) ().16 May 2023). Can the Treasurer advise:

1. How many applications have been received under the Flood Recovery Grant?

2. How many applications have been processed under the Flood Recovery Grant?

3. What is the total monetary spend to date under the Flood Recovery Grant?

4. How many applications have been rejected under the Flood Recovery Grant?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Treasurer has advised:

In response to the River Murray flood event, the government has committed $194.3 million to response, relief and recovery assistance measures.

These measures include:

Personal hardship assistance—one-off payments of up to $1,000 per family for those forced to leave their home by the flood event.

Rental assistance—up to $2,000 for singles and up to $5,000 for families displaced from their homes by the flood event and without insurance.

Power Shut Off-Generator Grants—up to $500 for households and up to $4,000 for businesses, who were notified of electricity disconnection or interruption due to the flood event, to purchase a generator.

Business Early Closure Grant—up to $20,000 to support businesses that were required to close early or cease trading as a result of the flood event.

Business Levee Embankments Remediation and Construction Grant—up to $50,000 provided to businesses on a 50 per cent cost share basis for the remediation or construction of levee embankments.

Business Levee Embankments Engineering Support Grant up to $1,000 to assist businesses in funding engineering service provider's advice on the remediation or construction of levees.

Primary Producer Irrigation Infrastructure Grants—up to $25,000 to assist with relocating and re-establishing irrigation infrastructure impacted by the flood event.

Levee works—funding provided to councils for levee works to mitigate the impact of the flood event.

Sandbags—purchase of additional sandbags and other flood defence systems.

Tourism recovery support—targeted voucher program and campaign to encourage a return to tourism along the River Murray following the flood event.

Community recovery fund—local preparedness and recovery fund administered by the Community Recovery Coordinator.

Financial counselling—information, advice, and referrals on cost-of-living and financial matters for those adversely impacted by the flood event.

Mental health support—multiple programs providing professional counselling and support.

Fee Waivers for houseboat and tourism operators—waiver of annual licence fees for licence holders unable to access the River Murray.

Essential services reconnection grants—up to $5,000 per eligible household to assist with reconnecting electricity, gas, water, septic or sewer services.

Clean-up and waste program—structural assessments, removal of hazardous waste and debris, kerbside collections, and waste management.

Small business recovery grant—up to $50,000 to assist small businesses meet clean-up and reinstatement costs.

Primary producer recovery grant—up to $75,000 to assist affected primary producers with essential recovery and reinstatement activities.

Emergency accommodation bookings—for those displaced from their homes by the floods without alternative accommodation arrangements.

Travel assistance—payments of $300 for those on lower income to assist with the cost of travelling longer distances.

Re-establishment grant—up to $20,000 for lower income households to assist with flood damage repairs and replacement of essential items.

Land tax, stamp duty and emergency services levy relief—land tax relief for businesses and rentals damaged by the flood, stamp duty relief for those purchasing a replacement for a flood destroyed home or vehicle, and emergency services levy relief for flood destroyed vehicles.

Small business industry support grants—up to $10,000 to support small businesses with operating costs during the flood event.

Family and business support—a free confidential triage program for primary producers that connects people with family and business mentors.

Council counter disaster operations—assistance for councils with a variety of flood mitigation, response and remediation activities.

Fire service false alarm fee waivers—waiver of fees for unwanted fire alarm activations.

Road repair package—to repair state and council roads damaged by the flood event.

Legal assistance—to help those affected by the flood with a range of legal issues including insurance, tenancies, employment, and hardship matters.

Fish clean-up—clean-up of large numbers of dead fish resulting from the flood.

A number of these measures are jointly funded by the commonwealth and the state under the disaster recovery funding arrangements.

The Treasurer has advised that as of 19 May 2023, the requested information for the flood recovery grants is as follows:

Small Business Recovery Grant

1. Applications received: 66

2. Applications processed: 41 (plus 25 under assessment/incomplete)

3. Expenditure to date: $532,763 (24 applications)

4. Ineligible applications: 17

The applications assessed as ineligible included a number where the business was assessed as being a primary producer and referred to the Primary Producer Recovery Grants program, incomplete applications and inactive Australian Business Numbers.

Primary Producer Recovery Grant

1. Applications received: 124

2. Applications processed: 100 (plus 24 under assessment/incomplete)

3. Expenditure to date: $3.008 million (88 applications)

4. Ineligible applications: 12

The applications assessed as ineligible were primarily a result of applicants providing insufficient evidence to demonstrate that they derive at least 50 per cent of their income from primary production or that there was primary production potential as per the guideline eligibility criteria.