The Lowmead fire late last year destroyed several homes and many sheds and other structures.
The Lowmead fire late last year destroyed several homes and many sheds and other structures.

‘Get real’: Plea for $1m bushfire funding for Gladstone

THE Federal Government has been told to "get real" about bushfire recovery funding after Gladstone Regional Council was one of nine councils in Queensland to miss out on a $1 million grant.

The National Bushfire Recovery Agency has come under fire after it announced an extension of its $1 million grant scheme, originally offered to 42 councils last year, including 33 in NSW and five in Queensland.

Gladstone Regional Council missed out on the original funding and the extension.

But Mayor Matt Burnett has not lost hope, and plans to write to Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week to put forward the region's case for the funding.

Cr Burnett also raised the issue with National Bushfire Recovery co-ordinator Andrew Colvin while in Canberra last week and with Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd.

"To date we have not been successful, but we won't give up until we are," he said.

"In 2018 we had the largest bushfire in Queensland at Deepwater and we got zero dollars, there was no $1 million bushfire fund then, and now in 2019 we've missed out again because the application close date was before the (Lowmead) fire started. I mean come on, let's get real."

Mr Colvin said the agency considered population, disaster recovery payments already received, the amount of land burnt and socio-economic factors when allocating the additional $17 million as part of the extension.

The Queensland minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Cameron Dick, has also written to Mr Morrison to request funding for the councils.

"Once again, the Prime Minister's decision has been made with no engagement (and) no consultation," Mr Dick said.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said he would "constantly advocate" on behalf of Flynn residents and the council regarding the matter.



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