No flood levy to pay for damage
Treasurer Tim Nicholls says there are no plans to bring in a flood levy, as he attacks the Federal Government for withholding $725 million worth of disaster relief funding.PT1M38S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2doqq 620 349 February 1, 2013
The damage bill from the recent Queensland floods is likely to cost the Federal Government hundreds of millions of dollars, Prime Minister Julia Gillard believes.
Touring flood ravaged Bundaberg with Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, Ms Gillard said it was impossible to accurately predict the damage bill.
"But I anticipate we are talking hundreds of millions of dollars of Federal Government investment," she said.
Flood damage in Bundaberg. Photo: Nine News
She also announced a million-dollar donation to spur others to donate to the flood appeal.
Asked about the possibility of a flood levy on taxpayers, Ms Gillard directed the question to Mr Swan, who said it was far too early to speculate about how much this will cost or how it will be funded.
"I mean, there are people here who are still putting their lives back together. This river has got a way to go down. Thorough assessments must be done. It's far too early to put a number on the cost of this tragic event.
"But we will handle it responsibly so I'm not going to speculate about any of those matters to enter into that speculation."
Ms Gillard and Mr Swan met Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, representatives of the local council and police before touring some of the worst-hit parts of the city.
The Prime Minister also said they had approved payments to assist people across 50 municipalities in Queensland and 10 in New South Wales in partnership with the state governments through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
"And now in various parts of Queensland there is assistance for personal hardship. There is assistance for clean-up for households and we have just made assistance with concessional loans for primary producers and small businesses that have been knocked around by these floods and tornadoes," she said.