Myrtlevale resident Tony Rycen and member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan outside the Proserpine community hub.
Myrtlevale resident Tony Rycen and member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan outside the Proserpine community hub. Peter Carruthers

Dept of Communities doing everything to help Proserpine

"WE ARE not doing anything but to help," was the message imparted by the deputy director general of the Department of Communities in Proserpine today.

Tony Hayes made the statement after the member for Whitsunday, Jason Costigan, arrived at the community hub set up in the Proserpine State High School with a constituent that had fallen through the system's cracks.

Tony Rycen of Myrtlevale has been without power and water for two weeks since Cyclone Debbie touched down in the Whitsundays.

He applied for an immediate hardship assistance grant at the Proserpine community hub last Monday.

He is yet to receive a payment from the Queensland State Government.

Today he arrived back at the temporary hub at the Proserpine State High School and was received by Mr Hayes who assigned a staff member to assist with his claim.

 

Deputy director general of the Department of Communities Tony Hayes at the Proserpine community hub.
Deputy director general of the Department of Communities Tony Hayes at the Proserpine community hub. Peter Carruthers

"Our people were on the ground as early as they could be, but that early period highlighted that they had no power, no generators and (were) indeed working in conditions that were very difficult to get people in and out of the recovery centres, let alone provide services," he said.

"There has been some service centres that were set up in a time that it was really really difficult to get the gears turning."

Mr Rycen said he was initially promised $300 straight away and $350 five days later.

"(But) they have forgotten about us I think," he said.

"It's the usual government system, too much has got to go down on paper."

Mr Hayes made admission of "small administrative hick-ups" in the initial days following the cyclone.

"If (people) haven't received their funds they should come in to the recovery centre and we will express lane those people straight through to get those issues resolved.," he said.

Mr Hayes said 40,000 people had received grants across Queensland in a two week period where normally the claims would take months to process.

All workers at the Queensland Government community hubs, including Ergon workers, have left the safety and comfort of their homes as volunteers to help out in the Whitsundays.

Mr Costigan said he had been approached by people in Proserpine and surrounding areas with families to feed and no way of doing so.

"It's a bigger balls up than people realise. It's the people in the real world who know how bad it is," he said.


Meth-taking truckie stops for a snooze on busy road

Premium Content Meth-taking truckie stops for a snooze on busy road

Truck driver had drugs in his system when he blocked road

DON'T MISS IT: Activate your free bonus for big rewards

Premium Content DON'T MISS IT: Activate your free bonus for big rewards

Did you know you can get even more – for free?

‘Very compelling’ plan could save COVID-19 jab rollout

Premium Content ‘Very compelling’ plan could save COVID-19 jab rollout

Proposal for pharmacists to join COVID-19 jab rollout sooner