Mud Army Covered For Injury
7 April 2017 at 4:29 pm
Queensland’s so-called “Mud Army”, who are volunteering to helping flood and cyclone ravaged communities get back on their feet, will be covered in case of injury.
Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace praised the volunteers for their efforts and confirmed they would be covered by WorkCover Queensland if they were injured while helping out with the recovery effort.
“We’ve arranged this coverage for any volunteer registered with a Queensland government rescue relief operation,” Grace said
“Providing this coverage is the least we can do for these volunteers who are selflessly sacrificing their own time to help fellow Queenslanders in need.
“We’ve all been shocked by the devastation caused by the floods, just as we’ve been inspired by the response of the Mud Army.”
But she said while they wanted to encourage more people to volunteer, they also wanted to remind people to “stay safe while out in the field”.
“Make sure you wear personal protective equipment such as chemical resistant gloves, protective eyewear, closed footwear and long sleeved shirts and pants to minimise exposure to skin,” she said.
Grace said the cover was for statutory benefits only, with benefits paid by WorkCover governed by legislation and dependent on the volunteer’s individual employment situation.
“Anyone volunteering through a third party operating on behalf of the government is also covered by the policy,” she said.
“The policy will run for an initial period of three months and after that we’ll look at a possible extension, depending on how the recovery is going.”
It comes as flood affected Queenslanders in Logan and Beenleigh received six tonnes of fresh food thanks to a team of volunteers and a Queensland government funding initiative designed to help people survive homelessness with dignity.
Food rescue service SecondBite received $310,000 from the first round of the state government’s Dignity First Fund to expand their operations with two new vehicles.
Member for Lytton Joan Pease thanked the organisation for their flood relief efforts.
“The work that SecondBite does every day makes such a huge difference to vulnerable Queenslanders, but when disasters strike it becomes so clear just how valuable volunteers are to our community,” Pease said.
“The recent floods in South East Queensland have meant that many people have been displaced from their homes, and fresh food has been difficult to obtain in some places.
“But thanks to SecondBite volunteers, people in flood damaged locations like Logan and Beenleigh have been able to access six tonnes of fresh food that would otherwise have been wasted.”
SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said Dignity First funding had already had a big impact on the organisation’s ability to help more Queenslanders who were disadvantaged and vulnerable, including those experiencing homelessness.
“The new eight pallet truck has enabled some large scale food donations,” Mullan said.
“In just one month the new truck has rescued enough fresh produce to provide the equivalent of an additional 130,000 nutritious meals for Queenslanders in need.
“The impact of more rescued and redistributed food is immediate and profound.
“We are delighted that this Queensland government funding has helped us scale our food relief operations so quickly.”