Landry says state needs to get funding submission right

PATIENCE is running out for Category D funding approval following Cyclone Marcia, but the Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, says the State Government needed to get it right before any approval could be granted.

Ms Landry yesterday said she didn't want to politicise the process, but recent statements by State Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga showed that she failed to understand the process her own government had committed to follow.

"Mrs Lauga appears to be trying to confuse small business and our community," she said.

"If she had attended all of the community meetings that I have, she would know that Category C and D of the NDRRA are primarily designed to address medium to longer term recovery needs.

"Often these needs don't become apparent until weeks or even months after a disaster."

Ms Landry said various State Government departments had been working hard in assessing the longer term needs of the local community, and this process was continuing.

"Late last month the Queensland Government wrote again to the Australian Government about Category D assistance," she said.

"However, a simple letter is no substitute for a formal submission, which should contain detailed information, required by law.

"Our officials are now working together with Queensland to find out more details on how the state proposes to use the money to assist the community.

"When it comes to Category D, community expectations must also be realistic.

"Category C or D assistance relates strictly to the repair and recovery process after a natural disaster. That is why it is called 'disaster assistance'.

"It is not intended to be a bucket of money to build brand new huge infrastructure projects that never previously existed before the cyclone.

"A different avenue where support for new community infrastructure projects can be applied for is under the Federal Government's $1 billion Stronger Regions program for regional communities."

Ms Lauga said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had received a response on Thursday from the Prime Minister requesting further information on the Category D application.

"I am working with the Queensland Premier and my colleagues as we fight to progress Cat D funding for the local regions," she said.

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