Change Guidelines For TSV Flood Crisis Payments
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UPDATE: The PM has announced a change to the 25% damage guideline, however it is not enough. Continue sharing.
Townsville was stricken with disastrous floods this month (still ongoing) which destroyed homes and business around the city. The floods were increased by release of the dams at 8pm on 3/2/2019. People are still coming to terms with the horrors that became in front of their eyes, and now they are dealing with another obstacle. Despite the Townsville Floods being compared a natural disaster and catastrophe, The Department of Human Services has announced a crisis payment that only allows people with 25% damage to their homes, to be eligible for financial assistance. This completely ignores the struggles of those who still have major damages to their homes, despite the little amount of flooding they got compared to the others.
All residents regardless of flooding or level of risk to their homes are dealing with:
- loss of work due to not being able to travel through flooded waters
- throwing out everything they own due to mold invasion. Many residents are experiencing worries for their health due to the mold, many having young children at risk. They are throwing away car seats, blankets, couches, furniture, mattresses, pillows etc. Some residents have nowhere to sleep except the floorboards.
- power surges have knocked out all their white goods, including their fridge which inevitably causes all their food to go off. Not to mention again, the mold destroying food in the cupboard.
The people of Magnetic Island, Palm Island and surrounding small towns are also not eligible despite suffering the same consequences: mold, loss of food, loss of everything they own.
Put yourself in the shoes of just one resident who has been experiencing hardship during this disaster.
True Story (location names changed)
"Hi Aidan, thank you for creating this petition. This is my story.Location name changed.
Imagine this. You are pregnant, you are at your home with 3 young children (1, 7 and teen) and your husband. You were just in the middle of moving house. You are told The Area will soon be affected by the recent disaster in Townsville. You exasperate, but believe everything will be fine. You were meant to be in your new house by now, but you have 3 days emergency food so all should be fine. It starts pouring down with torrential rain and there are reports of landslides, rock slides, and damaged roads in the area. You now realise that you don't have any funds left after using during the packing stages of moving house, and you start to worry that your husband can't go to work.
Now imagine this, the next day you awake and find that a power surge had fried your refrigerator. All fresh or frozen foods have been ruined and all is left to eat is porridge, rice and pancakes mix. You cannot eat these, you are allergic, not to mention pregnant. It is not sustainable. You finally walk around the house, and you realise everything you own is covered in mould. You have had to throw out blankets, pillows, mattresses and your couch. Now, you and your 3 young children and husband have nowhere to sleep but the floorboards. You are in an extremely tough spot and to make it worse, noone can reach you because you're in the most damaged part of The Area and everyone else is trying to stay safe inside their homes. Even when the water recedes - your husbands work is closed, the road is still damaged and the The Area is still experiencing the land and rock falls.
Finally its safe to leave. By this point its been 9 days and you are feeling quite ill and your children are extremely restless. You decide you will go to the mainland or the nearest shops to get what you need. Because you have no money, you go to apply for emergency assistance with the government. Maybe you can buy something to sleep on and stock back up on fresh foods, at the bare minimum. But no. Sorry, the government says they can't help you. You're not eligible. No water came into the house, therefore you did not really suffer.
What do we do now, Mr ScoMo? What now? Can we wait weeks for a Newstart claim to be approved, do we have that time?
No, we don't
Please share this."
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