People in cyclone affected communities in Queensland’s north and far north regions can soon apply for immediate financial assistance.

Community Services Minister Karen Struthers said personal hardship grants will be available to eligible households to help meet the cost of essentials like food, clothing, medical supplies and accommodation.

“The Government is working to ensure residents of the worst affected areas receive the help they need as soon as possible,” Ms Struthers said.

“Help that was available to people affected by the floods a few weeks ago will be available to people affected by Cyclone Yasi.

“We took the step of pre-emptively activating the scheme so payments can be made as soon as possible.

“That means non means tested Personal Hardship Assistance grants of $170 for individuals and up to $850 for families will be offered to help out with the cost of replacing food, clothing and medical supplies.

“Essential Household Contents Grants may also be available to eligible low-income families to help with the replacement or repair of uninsured, essential household contents which have been lost, damaged or destroyed.

“Structural Assistance Grants are available to help repair owner-occupied, uninsured residences damaged during the cyclone.

“At this stage, people can call 1800 173 349 to find out what’s available and they can apply once Community Recovery Centres are opened and outreach teams are in affected communities.

“We’ll have outreach teams out and about as soon as possible and recovery centres will be established in affected communities once safe and suitable locations are identified.”

Essential Household Contents Grants and Structural Assistance Grants are means tested and require onsite assessment of damage.

People who are experiencing personal hardship due to the cyclone should contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349 or visit

People will also be able to apply for grants from the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal and Centrelink grants that are available to people affected by the floods.

That means a family of two adults and three children could potentially receive more than $11,000 in non means tested grants.

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