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Grants available for cyclone-affected regional Queensland communities

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FRRR and Suncorp Group are inviting local not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) in remote, rural, and regional Queensland communities impacted by Cyclone Jasper and Kirrily to apply for a share of $300,000 in funding to support ongoing resilience building and recovery efforts.  

This week marks six months since Cyclone Jasper crossed the Far North coast (13 December 2023), causing widespread destruction, and five months since Cyclone Kirrily crossed the North Queensland coast (25 January 2024) and became a state-wide disaster event, as the rain moved south and west (3 February 2024). 

Local NFPs in the Far North and North Queensland, and other remote, rural, and regional communities impacted by the cyclones, including McKinlay and Western Downs, can apply for grants up to $20,000 through the Rebuilding Futures program, for community-led activities that address local prevention, preparedness, and recovery needs. 

Nina O’Brien, FRRR’s Disaster Resilience & Recovery Lead, said that it is vital that disaster-impacted communities are supported to proactively take action to prevent and prepare for, as well as respond to, the impacts of extreme weather events like Tropical Cyclones Jasper and Kirrily. 

“The effects of an extreme weather event do not dissipate when the immediate danger is over.” 

Egleton highlights that recovery needs to evolve over the medium to long term, as locals identify ways of building community resilience and reducing the impact of future disasters on community well-being and physical infrastructure. 

“But for a community to build back better after a disaster, it’s critical that the needs of all groups in the regions, particularly members of the community with less access to resources, information, and support, are considered and prioritized, both in recovery and in planning for potential future events.” 

“Ultimately, it is the people and processes that really make communities tick and make a difference in effective disaster recovery, prevention, and preparedness,” added Egleton. 

Funded by Suncorp Group, the Rebuilding Futures program has already distributed more than $1 million in recent years to 62 community groups across the country. 

“These grants are flexible and can support a wide range of projects, so we encourage groups to think laterally about what can assist their community,” O’Brien said. 

Steve Johnston, Suncorp Group CEO, said Suncorp was proud to support community-led recovery projects for regional Queensland communities impacted by severe weather events 

“Queensland is the most disaster-impacted state in the country and regional Queensland, particularly the Far North and North, has certainly borne the brunt of events like Cyclones Jasper and Kirrily,” Johnston said.  

“Suncorp is a proud Queensland-based company and will always be there to help our customers rebuild their lives following these devastating events, but we also understand how important it is to help community groups be prepared, build back better, and assist that recovery in the medium and longer term.” 

“That’s why we partner with FRRR to distribute grants directly to community organisations because these groups have the local knowledge to know where funding is needed most. 

“I want to encourage local organisations who may have been impacted by Cyclones Jasper and Kirrily to apply for funding for projects that will make their communities more resilient for the future,” said Johnston. 

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.

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