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Home buybacks part of Qld floods package

Up to 500 Queenslanders hit by the southeast floods will be able to access a home buyback scheme under a new support package released by the state.

The government has asked the Commonwealth for joint funding support for the $771 million package under national disaster recovery arrangements, Deputy Premier Steven Miles said on Saturday.

A key element of the package is giving affected Queenslanders the option to retrofit, raise or sell back their flood affected homes.

It includes $275 million to retrofit 5500 homes, $100 million to elevate 1000 homes and a $350 million residential buyback program.

“This is the biggest potential buyback…fund we’ve ever had available to us. We anticipate that will allow us to buy back 500 properties if people want to,” Mr Miles told reporters.

Guidelines to determine which residents can access specific options still needs to be finalised.

Previous experience suggests people prefer to stay in their homes and making properties more flood resilient is expected to be more popular, Mr Miles said.

The proposed package also includes an increase in structural assistance grants from just under $15,000 to $50,000, and another $30 million to assist local governments.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for his agreement.

“We certainly hope that that agreement will come quickly so that we can provide details out to residents,” Mr Miles said.

If the commonwealth does not agree to the joint funding offer, the deputy premier said the state government will have to reassess its options.

“I can’t imagine the prime minister would want to say to flood victims that they have to move back into a home that will flood again,” he said.

Queensland is also pushing for the same hardship assistance payments offered by the Federal Government to people in NSW.

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