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Programme 1.7: Australian Government disaster financial support payments

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Programme objective

This programme contributes to Outcome 1 by protecting and promoting the rule of law and building a safe, secure and resilient Australia.

Programme deliverables

  • Provide timely and targeted one-off payments and/or income support to individuals and families affected by major disasters throughout Australia, under the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance.
  • Provide ex gratia assistance to eligible New Zealand ‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa (subclass 444) holders who have also been adversely affected by the disasters.
  • Provide loans to states and territories at a concessional interest rate to support disaster recovery assistance to small businesses, primary producers, non-profit organisations and needy individuals, under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Achievements contributing to programme deliverables

In 2014–15 the department continued to improve its collection and assessment of disaster impact information by enhancing its monitoring, collection, storage and reporting of impact data during a disaster. Geoscience Australia has been a key partner in delivering improvements by refining disaster exposure reporting, which provides baseline demographic, building, agricultural, social and infrastructure data of the areas impacted by a disaster. These improvements have strengthened the quality and accuracy of advice provided to the Australian Government in support of its decisions on whether additional Australian Government recovery assistance is required beyond that already provided through the joint Australian Government-state and territory NDRRA.

Australian Government allowances and payments

In 2014–15 almost $105.7m was provided under the Australian Government DRP to over 86,140 people. The DRP was activated for four events – the Sampson Flat Bushfires in South Australia, Tropical Cyclone Marcia in Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Lam in the Northern Territory, and the April 2015 storms and floods in New South Wales. Payments continued to be made in 2014–15 to individuals affected by the 2013–14 Parkerville Bushfires in Western Australia. Provision of the DRP is in addition to, and complements, personal hardship and distress and other assistance delivered under Category A of the joint Australian Government, state and territory NDRRA. Assistance under the NDRRA was made available for 36 events in 2014–15, spanning 172 local government areas. The Australian Government’s preliminary estimated liability is $520m.

In 2014–15 $1.72m was provided under the DRA to more than 1,250 people to assist employees, primary producers and sole traders who had lost income as a result of a natural disaster. The DRA was activated for four events – the Sampson Flat Bushfires in South Australia, Tropical Cyclone Marcia in Queensland, Tropical Cyclone Olwyn in Western Australia, and the April 2015 storms and floods in New South Wales. Payments continued to be made in 2014–15 in relation to Tropical Cyclone Ita, which occurred in Queensland in 2013–14.

Ex gratia assistance to eligible New Zealand ‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa (sub-class 444) holders was activated in line with DRP and DRA activations. Over 80 claims were granted with an expenditure of over $0.12m for 2014–15.

Results against key performance indicator

Key performance indicator

Timely and targeted relief and recovery assistance is provided

Result

2014–15: Achieved

2013–14: Achieved

Approximately 86,140 claims for the Australian Government DRP were paid to support individuals adversely affected by major disasters.

Approximately 1,250 claims for DRA were paid to provide short-term income support to individuals who experienced a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster.

Approximately 80 claims for ex gratia assistance to eligible New Zealand citizens were paid to assist individuals recovering from a major disaster.

All ex gratia assistance was provided as soon as possible, once applications were accepted.

Administered outlays totalled $107.5m.

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