Under the plan, grants of up to $50,000 (£29k) would be made available to modify 5,500 flood-affected homes, while grants of up to $100,000 (£58k) would be on offer to build 1,000 homes. However, in a letter sent to the Premier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the additional programmes proposed were the responsibility of state and local governments.
The Prime Minister said the programmes would not be supported by the Commonwealth, as he claimed such measures were “outside the scope” of federal disaster recovery programmes.
Mr Morrison said: “These programmes can and should be directly funded and delivered by the Queensland government in the same way that the Commonwealth fully funds significant elements of our own contribution.”
The Queensland Labour government on Wednesday accused Mr Morrison of another “election-eve insult” after he said the federal government would not be contributing to a $741m residential recovery package to help retrofit, raise and buy back homes vulnerable to flooding.
Treasurer and Acting Premier Cameron Dick said a letter from Mr Morrison on Tuesday night essentially referred to the project as “not his problem”.
Mr Dick said: “Every Queenslander needs to know that this letter shows that Scott Morrison does not care about flood victims who need help from all levels of government.
“He has decided he doesn’t need flood victims to vote for him, so he has nothing to offer them.”
Mr Morrison toured Brisbane and Gympie in early March to assess the damage and came under fire for neglecting to issue an emergency declaration during the disaster, although he insisted it was the state government’s responsibility.
Mr Dick confirmed that Queensland would go it alone on a package without federal support but said it would not “go as far” to help flood victims.
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Mr Morrison suggested the Queensland government was “politicising” the flood response.
He said: “I think we’ve seen over some time now a real politicisation, and it’s very unfortunate, a real politicisation of natural disasters.
“I don’t think people, frankly, are that interested in the politicking between state governments having a crack at the federal government.”