Deputy Prime Minister calls for decision before ballot on flood grant funding

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles has called on the Morrison government to decide before the election whether it will fund 50% of flood relief grants.

The state government has so far paid more than $5.7 million to 437 small businesses, $838,000 to primary producers, $135,000 to 13 NGOs and $16.6 million to 89,000 people after the destruction of their homes and businesses during floods in South East Queensland.

Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles expects the Federal Government to help Queensland flood victims, but wants him to rush to say so.Credit:Getty

But amid speculation that a federal election could be called this weekend or next, Mr Miles urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to decide on the stimulus package before flood victims are taken into caretaking arrangements.

He said it had now been two weeks since Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk had written to Mr Morrison but “unfortunately we still have no response”.

“I’m just urging the Prime Minister to think about those households that are already starting to rebuild, and they’re rebuilding not knowing if they’ll have government help to build back better, if they’ll be able to upgrade, upgrade or sell their homes if they are flooded repeatedly,” he said.

“They shouldn’t have to wait – there’s a lot of speculation that the government could hold an election this weekend or next weekend.

“We don’t want these assistance grants to be caught up in the caretaker provisions. We want it to be really clear when they are available for people and how they can apply, so we really urge the Morrison government to make that decision before calling an election.

When asked if the state would continue to pay if the federal government decided not to fund 50%, Mr Miles said he believed the Commonwealth would help, despite the delay.

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