QUESTIONS RAISED ON ELIGIBILITY FOR LOCAL DISASTER RELIEF PAYMENTS Stranded Locals in Win-Win Situation

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Gailer

GYMPIE people have weathered periods of flooding many times before.

Besides the usual set-backs a[pounds sterling] lack of income for business people and their employees, as well as building repairs a[pounds sterling] the general consensus is that Gympie faired pretty well this time. But now it seems half of Gympie is entitled to claim disaster relief assistance because of the eligiblity criteria for Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.

Those able to make it to work last week miss out on a relief payment of $1000 per adult and $400 for each child in the family because the Queensland government considers being stranded at home for 24 hours to be a hardship.

One reader, who did not want to be named for obvious reasons, said many residents had applied for and received the payment without having experienced any real adversity.

She said some people deemed eligible were, in reality, being rewarded for stupidity after becoming stranded while sightseeing in flooded areas.

aIT was lovely being at home,a one Southside resident with a well-stocked pantry said on her return to work last week. Now it's even lovelier, because for all her lack of pain and suffering, she is entitled to a payment of $2200 for her and her three children.

Claims for the assistance can be lodged at Centrelink and will be granted as long as residents can meet one of the criteria on the vast list. …

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