The federal government has rejected a $741 million Queensland flood recovery package aimed at buying back flood-damaged homes and building more resilient properties.
The state pitched the multimillion-dollar package to give residents options to either refit or sell their damaged homes, with funding to be evenly split with the Commonwealth.
But after considering the request, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday confirmed the bulk of the package had not been agreed to.
The federal government will fund 50 per cent of a $30 million portion designated for additional clean-up.
A federal government spokesperson said more than $1 billion in Commonwealth funding had been provided to Queensland for its flood response, including disaster relief payments and income replacement.
“In the same way that the federal government fully funds disaster relief payments, the Queensland government is responsible for housing and can directly deliver home lifting, buybacks and their resilient household rebuilding program,” the spokesperson said.
Acting Premier Cameron Dick dismissed suggestions it was solely a state responsibility.
“It is not a state responsibility. Let me make it clear [that] this is an exceptional circumstances application under the disaster recovery funding arrangements,” he said on Wednesday.
“If the Prime Minister doesn’t see that something’s happening in the world, and we need to make our communities more disaster resilient … then he’s not paying attention.”
The package was intended to focus on the “longer-term need to increase resilience” amid the ongoing threat of natural catastrophes.
Queensland’s portion of the funding would “remain on the table” but Mr Dick warned there would be difficult decisions to come.
“The money just won’t go as far as we want it to,” he said.
“Give us the $371 million we need to put this program together. We are ready to go and it will make a big difference.”
The package includes $275 million to retrofit 5500 homes, $100 million to elevate 1000 homes and a $350 million residential buyback program.
It also includes an increase in structural assistance grants from just under $15,000 to $50,000, and another $30 million to assist local governments.