NEW FUNDING: Member for Maranoa David Littleproud says the new agency will allow them to respond faster to communities facing hardship. Picture: Kym Smith
NEW FUNDING: Member for Maranoa David Littleproud says the new agency will allow them to respond faster to communities facing hardship. Picture: Kym Smith

New funding to put boots on ground in drought

COMMUNITIES undergoing hardship will have a helping hand with the announcement of a new Federal Government intitative.

The National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency will oversee the government’s support given to these regions.

The Honourable. Shane L Stone AC QC, who is currently responsible for heading the government’s response to the North Queensland floods, will lead this new agency.

Water Resources Minister and Maranoa MP, David Littleproud, said the agency would put staff in regional and rural areas to make sure the right response was delivered to communities as conditions changed.

“The agency’s first job will be to put boots on the ground in affected communities,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This is a direct line between communities and government so we can better respond to the drought.

“They’ll let us know how our programs are working and where needs have changed.

“Staff will also be there to help communities access the assistance they’re entitled to.

“As the drought steps up so does our response and this will make that response quicker. This is another step to make sure government assistance is delivered as needs arise.”

The agency will also oversee the response and recovery after the North Queensland monsoon and flooding in February.

“I am pleased Mr Stone had accepted the position of co-ordinator-General for this agency,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Mr Stone has a track record with a ‘boots on the ground’ approach, and his agency will focus on a ‘locally led, locally understood and locally implemented strategy.”