Australian gov't to provide income assistance payment to floods victims

13:30, January 10, 2011      

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The Australian federal government on Monday announced that it will provide income assistance payment of about 500 U.S. dollars a fortnight to the workers affected by floods.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the payments will be available to those not able to do their normal job because of the recent floods in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales.

"This measure is to assist people who are not able to do their normal income-earning work and get their normal income," Gillard told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

As an example, Gillard said the disaster income recovery subsidy would apply to a truck driver at a mine, which had been closed because of the floods, or similarly to a coffee shop worker.

Farmers who were unable to deliver their harvests because of cut off roads would also be able to apply.

Gillard said the income assistance payments were important for individuals and the economy.

They would help "hold labor, particularly seasonal labor, in locations so that as communities move to recovery they don't immediately experience a skills shortage," she said.

The payments will begin next week, and Gillard said the subsidy was in addition to significant assistance already available to the flood-affected people.

Source: Xinhua
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