Landry disaster claim comments blasted

A CHORUS of government representatives have come out in condemnation of Michelle Landry over recent disaster relief claims.

Over the weekend the Federal Member for Capricornia said the State Government and some Queensland local councils had submitted "questionable" natural disaster claims.

Ms Landry said Queensland's own Auditor General found at least $115 million worth of claims that were lodged were unlawful and should never have been submitted to the Commonwealth for reimbursement.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga, Local Government Association of Queensland President Margaret de Wit, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad and Labor candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton have all criticised Ms Landry over the comments the past few days.

Many called on Ms Landry to apologise.

Ms Landry used the specific example of one council which had reportedly claimed they lost four fire trucks in a bushfire and made a natural disaster funding claim for them, when they had only lost two.

But Mrs de Wit said the example had not even occurred in Queensland.

"There is no record of any Queensland council making a claim for a single fire truck, let alone four, for at least the past five years. About $115 million worth of claims were deemed ineligible not unlawful, as Ms Landry claims, and these ineligible costs were identified by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA)," she said.

Ms Trad was particularly defensive, and said Ms Landry's comments were "outrageous and disgraceful".

She said the comments called into question the fundamental integrity of the Queensland Audit Office, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, the Queensland Government and local councils.

But Senator Matt Canavan came to the defence, and said Ms Trad was seeking to undermine the public's confidence in the system.

"Queensland's Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements are fully budgeted for. The Federal Government is quite rightfully investigating claims made by some councils, and once those proper reviews are conducted those payments will be delivered," he said.

"The Federal Government has set aside billions of dollars for disaster relief payments, so it is absolutely reasonable that those costs are justified to ensure proper use of taxpayer money.

"Our plans are fully costed and fully funded - and Queensland's NDRRA funding is no exception."

Multiple attempts had been made to contact Ms Landry's office for comment but no response had been received by deadline.

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