Morrison Backflips On Co-Funding Queensland’s Flood Relief Amid Fierce Criticism
All levels of government must contribute
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backflipped on flood relief funding for Queensland, as pressure mounts ahead of the federal election.
The commonwealth on Thursday morning, agreed to split the $741 million package to help Queenslanders rebuild, raise, or sell their homes damaged in the recent floods.
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It follows Mr Morrison initially rejecting the pitch, arguing the sunshine state was politicising the disaster, ahead of Queenslanders heading to the ballot booth, in the upcoming election.
Yet the PM caved in this morning in an interview with Brisbane radio station 4BC and agreed to the proposal.
"They want to play politics with this, I don't want to play politics with this, I just want to make sure people are getting the support that they need," Mr Morrison told Nine Radio.
"So, we'll meet that, the 50:50 cost."
Queensland's Acting Premier Cameron Dick said he was "very pleased that he's finally seen the light".
"He'll do the right thing by Queensland, which is what he should have always done, instead of dragging his feet, saying it is someone else's responsibility," Mr Dick said on Thursday morning.
However, the Coalitions initial response garnered fierce criticism on Wednesday, including from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), accusing the federal government of dodging responsibility.
“As severe rain and flooding continues to impact the east coast, the failure of the federal government to match Queensland’s investment in measures to improve household and community protections against extreme weather is disappointing and short-sighted,” the ICA’s chief executive, Andrew Hall, said.
“If Australia is to get serious about improving our resilience to flood, bushfire and cyclone, all levels of government must contribute"
“Australians – particularly those still impacted by the ongoing rain and flooding – want governments to come together to provide better protections against worsening extreme weather, not wash their hands of responsibility,” Mr Hall said.
In an attempt to reign in state leaders, the PM stipulated that "starting now", Queensland must start reporting on the delivery of disaster recovery funding arrangements.
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