Skip links and keyboard navigation

Disaster finance arrangements

Following severe disaster events, Local, State and Commonwealth Governments respond through a coordinated range of disaster management arrangements to address both the physical and financial needs of affected communities.

This page provides an overview of Queensland's Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). It is not intended to be used as an authority for action taken as a result of a disaster event and should not be considered as a policy document.

Commonwealth/State arrangements

The prime mechanism utilised by the Queensland Government for providing assistance to communities affected by disaster events is the Commonwealth/State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). NDRRA events are currently managed within the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QldRA).

These longstanding arrangements provide a cost sharing formula (between the Queensland and Commonwealth Government) as well as a range of pre-agreed relief measures which may be activated by the Queensland Government immediately following a disaster event, once a need has been established.

The Attorney-General's Department determines terms and conditions of assistance under NDRRA (including loan and subsidy ceilings). All assistance schemes must comply with the Attorney-General's determination and are subject to Commonwealth acceptance.

NDRRA objective

‘To assist the relief and recovery of communities whose social, financial and economic well-being has been severely affected by a disaster event.’
Disaster relief measures are designed to help those within the community who do not have the resources to provide for their own recovery.

Assistance is NOT compensation based and is not intended to replace or act as a disincentive for self-help, insurance and/or other appropriate disaster mitigation strategies.

Funding is also provided to State and Local Governments to facilitate the restoration of essential public infrastructure.

While the schemes provide a measure of financial support, the primary responsibility for the safeguarding and restoration of private and public assets remains with the owner.

Eligible disaster events

Eligible disasters under NDRRA include: Cyclone, Flood, Landslide, Meteor Strike, Storm, Bushfire, Storm Surge, Terrorist Event, Tsunami, Tornado and Earthquake. Terrorist Event is included as an interim measure.

Drought, frost, heatwave, epidemic events relating from poor environmental planning, commercial development or personal intervention are not eligible events under NDRRA.

Small natural disasters are ineligible for Commonwealth NDRRA funding. The Commonwealth defines a small disaster as one where State expenditure (on all assistance measures) does not exceed $240,000. In these instances, the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services may activate State funding for the State Disaster Relief Arrangements (SDRA) relief measures "Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme" and "Counter Disaster Operations".

Disaster relief measures

NDRRA relief measures may be invoked by the Queensland Government immediately an eligible disaster event has occurred and a need for assistance established. The following is a summary of NDRRA relief measures that may be activated to assist individuals and communities affected by eligible disaster events.

Counter Disaster Operations (to alleviate personal hardship)

  • Counter Disaster Operations are activities undertaken by Local and State government agencies to provide direct assistance to and in the protection of the general public immediately before, during and an immediate aftermath of a disaster event.

    Administering Authority: Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QldRA)

Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme (to alleviate personal hardship)

  • The Personal Hardship Assistance Scheme is provides assistance to individuals and families directly affected by an eligible disaster event and who require support to provide for their own recovery or would otherwise experience more serious hardship.

    Administering Authority: Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme

  • The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme provides financial assistance of up to $5,000 to individuals and families as a contribution towards safety inspections of and repairs to essential services (e.g. electricity, gas, water and sewerage) damaged by an eligible disaster.

  • Administering Authority: Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional Loan and Grant Packages) for Non-Profit Organisations

  • This relief measure is designed to assist in meeting the needs of Associations (churches, clubs, sporting associations and voluntary non-profit organisations) to reestablish facilities following eligible disaster damage.

    Administering Authority: Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

Restoration of Public Assets

  • This relief measure financially assists eligible State and Local Governments in the restoration of essential public assets, following an eligible disaster event, to pre-disaster standard/level of service, in accordance with current engineering standards/requirements and building codes/guidelines if required by legislation, while maintaining the same asset class and/or immunity level.

    Administering Authority:

    Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QldRA)

Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional loans) to primary producers

The purpose of assistance under the scheme is to assist in meeting the needs of primary producers to recover following an eligible disaster of substantial magnitude.

Administering Authority: QRAA

Freight subsidies to primary producers

  • Assistance for the movement of feed, building/fencing materials, stock, fodder, water, machinery/equipment and fuels (50% subsidy)

    Administering Authority: Department Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional loan) to small businesses

  • The purpose of assistance under the scheme is designed to assist in meeting the needs of small businesses to recover from an eligible disaster event of substantial magnitude.

    Administering Authority: QRAA

Activation of relief measures

The Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services (supported by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority) is responsible for activating and coordinating the delivery of NDRRA assistance measures in conjunction with other Agencies.

Following an eligible disaster event and an initial evaluation of damage, loss and personal hardship, the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services (on behalf of the Queensland Government) will activate those NDRRA relief/assistance measures that are appropriate.

The activation of relief measures is dependent on a demonstrated need for a particular category of assistance and also whether:

  • The damage was caused by an eligible disaster event as defined by the Commonwealth; and
  • State expenditure on eligible NDRRA assistance measures will exceed the small disaster criterion of $240,000.  Where the small disaster criterion will not be reached, the Minister may consider the activation of State (funded) Disaster Relief Arrangements (SDRA) for community response or personal hardship needs.

Coordination of NDRRA

The Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services is responsible for the activation of the NDRRA.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority is responsible for the coordination of the Activation and the management of all relief measures in conjunction with State Administering Agencies.

Commonwealth / State Cost sharing formula

For total eligible expenditure for all events in the 2013/2014 year the funding formula is:

$0
to
$103,036,500
100%
Queensland Funded
 
$103,036,500
to
$180,313,875
50%
Queensland Funded
50%
Commonwealth Funded
 
>
$180,313,875
25%
Queensland Funded
75%
Commonwealth Funded


Due to the above formula it is not possible to determine the Commonwealth/State funding split for individual assets or disaster events.

More Information

Further information is located in the Queensland Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement Guidelines located under the Guidelines section.