Dametto demands to recontinue the Household Resilience Program
25 July 2021
Katter’s Australian Party Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto has backed hundreds of North Queenslanders calling for financial support to upgrade their homes against the devastating effects of unpredictable cyclones.
The Household Resilience Program, which ran for two rounds but has now no longer been funded, was initially launched in 2017 to provide assistance to eligible home owners in coastal parts of Queensland to improve their resilience against cyclones.
Mr Dametto said the Household Resilience Program had generated over $60.6 million in work for the construction industry, with approximately 95% of work being completed by local suppliers.
He said it was disappointing that neither the State of Federal Government had sought to continue the program.
The Hinchinbrook MP said while he commended both levels of government on the joint initiative that had so far supported more than 3,100 eligible homeowners improve the resilience of their home, it was pertinent the program continue.
“I cannot ignore the fact that there have been 664 registrations of interest by the Program should further funding become available, and my office has an extensive list of constituents in the Hinchinbrook electorate that were anticipating the announcement of round three,” he said.
“I’m calling on the Government to recontinue the Program as the expressions for round three demonstrate there is clearly a demand.
“The Federal and State Governments are more than happy to invest in a total of $12 billion for the Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics infrastructure over for next ten years.
“North Queensland homeowners are in need of financial support, for those who rely on a pension or are low income earners, projects like roof replacement are simply out of reach.”
An investigation of Tropical Cyclone Debbie conducted by James Cook University (JCU) highlighted the importance of upgrading older builders to be cyclone-resilient, with dated structures damaged more severely and frequently in comparison to newer buildings.
Another study by JCU’s Cyclone Testing Station recommended to improve the community’s resilience upgrades of pre-80s housing and ongoing maintenance programs are necessary.
“We were extremely disappointed to hear that round three of the Household Resilience Program was not included in the 2021/22 budget,” said Hinchinbrook constituent, Ms Ella Begg.
“My partner and I purchased our home in Ingham and upgrades are necessary as it’s a fairly old home and we live in a cyclone risk area.
“Last year we only just missed out on the round two funding and were waiting for round three to be announced.
“We are first homeowners and now we will have to consider taking out a loan for the upgrades, putting us under financial pressure.”
Mr Dametto is calling on the Federal and State Governments to recontinue the Household Resilience Program to support and ensure safety and security for Queenslanders in their homes during cyclone season.