Gulf station workers left washed up in flood funding

Jun 27, 2023

To add insult to injury after delivering “stuff all” to the flood-ravaged Gulf, Queensland Government red tape is making it near impossible for the state’s biggest battlers on the land to get help.

Burke Shire residents had reported to Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter that station workers with no fixed address were ineligible to receive assistance, and counter-disaster funding delivered to Council only covered houses and not farms or businesses.

“We’re hearing that station workers – who make up some of Queensland’s biggest battlers and hardest workers – are unable to access the personal hardship payment of $180 for evacuated residents simply because they didn’t rent or own the dwelling they were in,” Mr Katter said.

“Additionally, the money given to Burke Shire Council under the Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, which activates counter-disaster operations like cleaning up debris and fixing roads and bridges, reportedly only covers urban houses and neglects farms or businesses.”

Mr Katter said the hundreds of millions in flood damage to communities, businesses, cattle properties and roads had been met with lacklustre acknowledgement due to the region’s geographic isolation.

“You’ve got people who have been devastated and lost absolutely everything getting a measly payment of $180 that wouldn’t even cover a trip to the grocery shop, while just last year, adults and children in South East Queensland got $1,000 and $400 respectively for losing a bit of gear,” he said.

He recounted that cattle station roads as well as the Barkly Highway – the major sealed road linking Queensland and the Northern Territory – had been underwater and required time-consuming repairs, which significantly impacted cattle producers as well as fishers who couldn’t get their bumper prawn haul to market, and cut off the regional centre of Mount Isa, leaving supermarket shelves empty.

“Our geographic isolation up here makes us even more vulnerable to the whims of Government during a natural disaster but instead of receiving adequate support and recognition of our needs, we are given an insulting pittance and only sparing communication with the people who are making the decisions in Brisbane,” Mr Katter said.

“They’re happy to take the spoils of production from all the wealth created up here but can’t give that little bit back in desperate times.”

For updated information on available funding, residents can contact the Community Recovery Hotline on 1800 173 349 or