Australia Govt announces more funding for flood-hit communities

CANBERRA: The Australian government has announced additional funding for health services in towns affected by the country's recent devastating flooding in the northeast.

According to news report, Health Minister Greg Hunts said the federal government would spend an additional Austrailion Dollar(A$) 35.9 million (USD 26.2 million) on crucial health services and additional mental health treatment for those affected.

The plan includes A$31.2 million in mental health care over the next two years, with A$16.6 million going to tackle immediate psychological needs.

Floods in northern New South Wales (NSW) and southern Queensland (QLD) wrecked tens of thousands of homes and killed at least 20 people.

The floods, Hunt said in a statement, will have a long-term impact.

"Most importantly, this package of assistance will be provided over the next two years because we know that assistance will be required for more than just the next few months, and those living in flood-affected areas of Queensland and NSW will require substantial ongoing assistance," he said.

The Labor Party, which is in opposition to the government, has continued to criticise the government's reaction to the flood situation. Labor's defence spokesman, Brendan O'Connor, said the Australian Defence Force should have been deployed to the impacted areas sooner.

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