Media Release: Yes - community groups can now access flood and cyclone relief!

‘The organisations Australians rely on in times of crisis will now be able to get government assistance to repair and re-establish their own organisations as well as support the communities around them,’ according to David Crosbie, CEO of the Community Council for Australia.

Until yesterday, disaster recovery grants and concessional loan programs put in place to support Queensland small business and primary producers had excluded not-for profit organisations. 

David Crosbie said CCA was pleased with yesterday’s announcements from Premier Bligh and Federal Treasurer Swan that the Queensland and Commonwealth governments had been able to respond to community concerns and ensure commonsense prevailed.  He also commended the community organisations that had raised the issue and ensured it was addressed.

‘What this means in practice is that sports clubs; welfare organisations; art and cultural groups; recreation, education and employment groups; environment and animal welfare groups; housing organisations; support groups for carers and people who suffer a variety of health and other problems, and many other vital community organisations, will all be able to receive some assistance if their own properties are damaged or they need help to become operational again,’ he said.

CCA had previously argued that even if rebuilding local economies is the main priority for disaster recovery grants, not-for-profits should be eligible.  The NFP sector contributes over $43 billion to the national economy and employs almost 900,000 people.  This makes the NFP sector bigger than the tourism, communications or agriculture sectors.

Mr Crosbie said, ‘there are still major issues about the role of not-for-profits in the planning and delivery of disaster recovery services, but hopefully, we will never again see not-for-profits excluded from eligibility for assistance in times of crisis.’