Disaster Legal Help

Published on January 16, 2024

Our thoughts are with all centres located in areas hit by extreme weather events over the Christmas and New Year period. Queensland is now experiencing compounding and cascading climate events. The long tail of community recovery from disasters means there will likely be an influx of legal need in the weeks and months ahead.  

Sector collaboration for disaster legal help  

  • CLCQ hosts a monthly Climate and Disaster Justice Exchange for CLCQ members to discuss disaster and climate-related issues. At our first 2024 Exchange, we will focus on internal CLC collaboration and offering cross-CLC support to help those recently impacted by disasters. Our next Exchange will be held on Tuesday, 23 January at 2pm.  Please contact Monica monica@communitylegalqld.org.au to receive a Teams invitation to attend this meeting.  
  •  We also encourage all impacted CLCs to attend the next Disaster Legal Assistance Working Group, hosted by DJAG and chaired by Legal Aid Queensland. You can contact Monica or Paul Holmes (Legal Aid) to receive a calendar invitation for the next meeting: paul.holmes@legalaid.qld.gov.au   

Information about disaster assistance  

  • Queensland Government Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 is available 24/7 for people to obtain information, support or assistance with grant applications.   
  • Community Recovery Hubs are open in impacted local government areas. The locations and opening times are available at www.qld.gov.au/disasterhelp  

Grants and hardship assistance 

Monetary grants and hardship assistance has been activated for Queensland communities impacted by recent extreme weather events. Personal Hardship Assistance and Housing Assistance may be available for clients (eligibility conditions apply).  These include:  

Queensland government:  

  • Emergency Hardship Assistance Grants – $180 per person, up to $900 for a family of five or more to support immediate essential needs (food, clothing or medical supplies). 
  • Structural Assistance Grants – up to $50,000 for uninsured, income-tested owner-occupiers towards the repair or replacement of a disaster damaged dwelling to return it to a safe and habitable condition. 
  • Essential Services Hardship Assistance – $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of five or more to assist with immediate needs following the loss of essential services at home for more than five consecutive days. 
  • Essential Household Contents Grants – up to $1,765 for individuals and up to $5,300 for couples or families to replace destroyed essential household contents (e.g. bed linen, white goods).  

To see the full list of grants and for more information, visit www.qld.gov.au/disasterhelp  

Australian government:  

  • Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is a one-off lump sum payment to eligible Australians adversely affected by the South East Queensland severe storms and rainfall in December 2023-January 2024. AGDRP is $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child. Claims for AGDRP can be lodged with Service Australia for a period of up to six months.   
  • AGDRP is available for people who have been seriously injured, have lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, whose major assets have been directly damaged or are the immediate family members of an Australian citizen or resident who has died as a direct result of the South East Queensland severe storms and rainfall.  
  • Claimants have until 3 July 2024 to lodge a claim for AGDRP in the three (3) local government areas of City of Gold Coast, Logan City and Scenic Rim Regional Council. 

For more information, visit Services Australia or www.disasterassist.gov.au. 

Emotional support for people impacted by disasters  

A dedicated Lifeline Queensland phone support service has opened to help Queenslanders impacted by the recent disaster in the state’s far north and south-east regions. Contact Lifeline on 1800 116 671.