Assistance concerns

Part of the line-up of people at Logan Central waiting to have emergency assistance grants to be processed. Photo: Inga Williams / The Reporter
Part of the line-up of people at Logan Central waiting to have emergency assistance grants to be processed. Photo: Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

A SEA of people could be seen outside the Logan Community Recovery Centre last week as thousands of flood and storm affected residents queued for hours to claim emergency assistance grants.

But some residents voiced concerns they may miss out because of fears others are unfairly claiming grants.

The grants, which are between $180 and $900, are only available for people who are unable to meet immediate needs for accommodation, food, essential clothing or medication.

In addition, people must also have been without power for at least 48 hours.

One group made up of four Waterford West residents, who all wished to remain anonymous, told The Reporter last week they knew of people rorting the system.

"Where we live in Waterford West, we were not directly affected by floodwaters and were only without power for 34 hours," one said.

"But yet, we know many of our neighbours, who were in the same situation as us, claiming money.

"We know they are claiming the money because some were even going around to the other neighbours and boasting about it and handing out forms.

"Now to us, we don't think that is right because their houses were okay.

"We get so angry when we see these people clearly rorting the system because that money should be going to people who were much worse off."

Some days the line at Logan Central was so large people were being turned away because the centre reached its daily capacity.

After asking more than 10 families waiting in line on Thursday afternoon, none were prepared to comment as to why they were claiming the money.

Minister for Communities Tracy Davis said people who were fraudulently taking the grants would be referred to the police.

"The grants are for those who are experiencing hardship as a result of the disaster and are unable to meet their immediate needs," she said.

"It is made very clear to people that this is a one-off payment only.

"The department do have checks in place to see if people have fraudulently applied for more than one grant.

"Cases identified as suspected fraud will be referred to the police."

Ms Davis said more than 18,000 emergency assistance grants had been paid across the state so far, totalling more than $8 million.

"The Department of Communities have responded swiftly to the needs of communities right across Queensland, getting on the ground and providing real support to thousands of affected people," she said.

"We have processed more than 7700 grants this week alone across Brisbane, Gold Coast and Logan which is a clear indication that our staff are working quickly, but also meeting the needs of victims."

Topics:  emergency, flood, grant



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