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Queensland and New South Wales Floods February to April 2022

Helping Australians recover from devastating natural hazards is a national priority

From February 22 2022, widespread thunderstorms, record rainfall and flooding impacted large areas of Queensland and New South Wales.

The deadly and destructive floods captured the nation’s attention, with lives lost and thousands of people rendered homeless. 

The Insurance Council of Australia describes it as the country’s most costly disaster, with an estimated insurance cost of $5.7 billion.

In Queensland, almost 7,000 homes and 10000 commercial properties were damaged.

In New South Wales, 7,477 homes were damaged, with the biggest losses in the Northern Rivers.

Supporting affected communities

The Australian Government supported the state-led emergency response, mainly through the provision of Australian Defence Force personnel and assets for search and rescue and evacuation missions, to assist with removing roadblocks, dropping food, water and medical supplies to people cut off by floodwaters, and aerial damage assessments.

Joint Commonwealth-State disaster assistance was activated through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for 23 Local Government Areas in Queensland and 62 in New South Wales.

Within 24 hours of Queensland and New South Wales activating the DRFA, the Australian Government put in place immediate disaster payments for adults and children.

As conditions improved and the full impact of the flooding became known, further assistance was provided.

  • Key initiatives under the DRFA included:
    • Resilient Homes Fund ($741 million joint funding with Queensland and $700 million joint funding with NSW), with three components:
      • Voluntary Home Buy-back
      • House Raising
      • House retrofitting
    • In partnership with Queensland, a snapshot of initiatives includes:
      • $174.7 million for human and social initiatives like mental health services and accommodation support
      • $177 million for economic recovery, including loans for medium-to-large businesses, grants for rural landholders, and support for small businesses and tourism operators
      • $180 million to rebuild, recover and strengthen community and recreational assets
      • $59.9 million for environmental recovery, including $31 million for flood risk management
      • $150 million Betterment Fund for councils and state agencies to improve the resilience of essential public infrastructure
      • $30 million clean-up package for beaches, waterways and parks
      • $24 million local recovery and resilience grants
    • In partnership with NSW, a snapshot of initiatives includes:
      • $300 million Clean-up Package to assist with the clean-up and removal of flood and storm related damage, debris and green waste
      • $312.5 million Regional Roads and Transport recovery package
      • $183 million in Back Home grants to help cover the costs of restoring properties to habitable conditions or replacing essential household items
      • $150 million Primary Industry Support Package to identify flood mitigation projects and provide detailed mapping and modelling to inform future planning and investment
      • $27 million in Rental Support payments to help residents unable to live in their home due to storms and floods
      • $142 million Flood Property Assessment Program to provide residents with free, detailed assessment reports including a scope of repair work and costs
      • $70 million Aboriginal Housing Recovery Program to repair and upgrade flood damaged properties in affected regions
      • $165 million Northern Rivers Business Support Package for small, medium and anchor businesses in highly-impacted local government areas (LGAs)
      • $36m Construction of new flood levees  


  • Other solely Australian Government funded programs include:
    • $75 million each for Queensland and NSW from the Emergency Response Fund for flood mitigation and infrastructure works.
    • $11.2 million for the Northern Rivers Resilience Initiative to inform the allocation of $150 million funding from the Emergency Response Fund to improve the region’s flood preparedness and flood resilience and inform longer-term mitigation measures.

Detailed break-down of assistance by state:

South-East Queensland Rainfall and flooding (22 February – 5 April 2022) (AGRN 1011)
Australian Government only payments Expenditure
AGDRP 23 LGAs activated
377,576 claims paid
DRA 23 LGAs activated
19,249 claims paid
DRFA cost-shared with state Committed
Category A/B 23 LGAs - funding amount not yet known, as provided on reimbursement basis and dependent on the total amount spent on eligible recovery measures in a financial year.  
Category C/D Primary Producer recovery grants up to $50,000  $250,000,000
  Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation grants up to $25,000  $257,500,000
  Council grants of $1 million  $23,000,000
  Clean-up package  $30,000,000
  Resilient Homes Fund
(comprising household rebuild ($275m), voluntary buy-back ($350m), industry & community education ($6m), household raising ($100m), property level flood information ($10m))
  Human and Social Recovery Package
(comprising flexible funding grants ($20m), health & wellbeing package ($24.54m), community recovery & resilience officers ($12.08m), accommodation package ($118.1m)
  Economic Recovery Package
(comprising industry recovery & resilience officers ($2.5m), tourism package ($7m), rural landholder grants ($3m), medium to large business recovery loans ($150m), small business recovery & resilience program ($14.5m))
  Environmental Recovery Package
(comprising environment package ($28.9m) and flood risk management ($31m))
  Community and recreational assets 
(comprising Community and Recreational Assets ($180m) and Sports and Recreational Assets ($2m))
  Betterment Fund  $150,000,000
  Monitoring and Evaluation of Package  $5,000,000
Homes damaged   6,872


NSW Severe Weather and Flooding (22 February 2022 onwards) (AGRN 1012)
Australian Government only payments Expenditure
AGDRP 61 LGAs activated:
1,206,893 claims paid for AGDRP
184,033 claims paid for AGDRP top-up (2 additional payments for Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed)
DRA 61 LGAs activated:
22,932 claims paid for DRA
30,350 claims paid for DRA supplementary (Lismore only)
DRFA cost-shared with state Committed
Category A/B 62 LGAs - funding amount not yet known, as provided on reimbursement basis and dependent on the total amount spent on eligible recovery measures in a financial year.  
Category C/D Clean-up package $300,000,000
  Primary Producer Grants up to $75,000 and Small Business and Not-for-Profit grants up to $50,000 $330,200,000
  Community Recovery Officer Package $6,500,000
  Council grants of $1 million $62,000,000
  Housing Assistance Package
(comprising rental support scheme ($248m), temporary dwelling program ($20m), additional temporary accommodation services and programs, including recreation camps, mobile motor homes, housing brokerage service and housing flood recovery service etc. ($17.2m))
  Rural land holders grants up to $25,000 $35,000,000
  Primary Industries Support Package
(comprising critical producer grants ($100m) and recovery & resilience grants ($50m)
  Northern Rivers Business Support Package
(comprising anchor business grants ($59.3m), medium to large business grants ($20m), grants for small businesses (with <40% downturn in income) ($80m))
  Support for NORCO $8,547,000
  Flood property assessments and demolition program $142,000,000
  Back home grants    $182,500,000
  Regional roads and transport recovery package $312,500,000
  Aboriginal Housing Recovery Program $70,000,000
  Community Infrastructure Recovery Package
(comprising repair or reconstruction of community assets ($100m), repair/reconstruction of local sport infrastructure ($55m), repair/reconstruction of Aboriginal community infrastructure ($50m), repair and restoration of local government owned riparian sites and landscapes ($64m), and construction of new flood levees ($36m)
  Resilient Homes Fund
(comprising home retrofit ($40m), home raising ($100m), buy-back ($520m), program management and admin ($40m)
Homes damaged   7,477