Tuesday, May 28, 2024

QRA to review damage assessments following summer of disasters

Queensland Reconstruction Authority officers are set to carry out the first follow-up damage assessments on properties impacted by disasters over the summer period.

The Damage Assessment and Reconstruction Monitoring (DARM) operation will take place over two, week-long periods from today, with disaster impacted homes and businesses from Cook Shire to the Gold Coast and inland to Western Downs to be visited.

In total, 2,975 properties will be assessed between 15-19 April and 29 April-3 May.

“DARM is about identifying any ongoing issues Queenslanders are facing with their recovery from a disaster and helping them resolve those challenges in a fast and effective way,” said Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Nikki Boyd.

“Officers from QRA will be going door to door talking to residents and collecting information on property damage, the status of repair works, insurance claims, and any follow-up requirements for our government’s Community Recovery team.”

The Minister said the Queensland and Federal Governments have so far paid out more than $72 million in personal hardship grants following these summer disasters and announced exceptional circumstances funding packages valued at more than $120 million.

“This upcoming DARM operation is another crucial step in our response to the 2023-24 disaster season, keeping all levels of government and other relevant stakeholders informed as we work to get Queenslanders back on their feet,” she said.

DARM audits are conducted at regular intervals following a severe disaster, usually for up to a year, allowing QRA to monitor recovery, identify issues, and ensure communities and residents are getting every bit of support they need.

QRA officers will collect information on property damage, progress of repairs, insurance matters, and residents’ ability to access financial and personal support where required.

“Queensland was absolutely slammed by natural disasters this summer. The impacts from such significant weather are severe, and the recovery takes time,” said QRA CEO, Major General Jake Ellwood (Retd).

“Our DARM activities are a fundamental part of QRA’s recovery support for any community impacted by a large-scale natural disaster.

“There are important lessons to be learned from every disaster event, and the conversations we have and the data we capture feeds into that so we can help people right now but also better prepare for the future.

“It’s vital we’re tracking the recovery progress of those affected, to make sure no one is falling through the cracks and support is being directed where it’s needed most.”

The properties under assessment were identified as damaged following more than 10,000 rapid assessments done by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and QRA in the immediate aftermath of cyclones Jasper and Kirrily, and the SEQ storms.

The DARM schedule is as follows:

Monday 15 April – Friday 19 April, Far North Queensland (Tropical Cyclone Jasper)
Properties to be visited: 1,769
LGAs: Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Cook, Douglas, Mareeba

Monday 29 April – Friday 3 May, South-East Queensland (SEQ Christmas storms)
Properties to be visited: 963
LGAs: Gold Coast, Logan, Scenic Rim

Monday 29 April – Friday 3 May, north/south Queensland (Tropical Cyclone Kirrily)
Properties to be visited: 243
LGAs: Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, Townsville, Western Downs.

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