Eligible essential public assets - DRFA

This guidance relates to eligible events activated from 1 November 2018 under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

DRFA eligibility

DRFA eligibility requires a YES to all the following DRFA criteria:

  • Does the asset meet the DRFA definition of Transport or Public Infrastructure essential public assets?
  • Is the asset owned and maintained or operated and maintained by an eligible undertaking, i.e. a local government or a state government agency?
  • Is the operation of the asset provided free of charge or at a rate that is 50 per cent or lower in the cost to provide the service?
  • Has the asset been directly damaged by an eligible disaster, and can this be demonstrated?
  • Is the damaged asset necessary and integral to the normal functioning of the community?
  • Does evidence clearly link the asset damage to the eligible disaster?
  • Does evidence demonstrate the exact location, nature and extent of event damage to the asset, pre and post disaster condition evidence?
  • In cases where a damaged asset that meets all of the above is covered by insurance (e.g. public infrastructure such as hospitals or schools), has insurance been sought? Does the submission exclude works and costs that are covered by insurance?

The DRFA and the Queensland Disaster Relief and Recovery (QDRR) Guidelines detail the essential public asset eligibility criteria, plus photo and other evidence requirements acceptable under the DRFA for use in demonstrating the exact location, nature and extent of damage to the asset, pre-disaster condition and linking the damage to the eligible disaster.

Eligible essential public assets

Transport infrastructure  Public infrastructure  

An asset that is an integral part of a state’s infrastructure and associated with:

  • roads and road infrastructure (including footpaths, bike lanes, pedestrian bridges)
  • bridges
  • tunnels
  • culverts
  • other essential or supporting components of the infrastructure such as:
    • retaining structures
    • road furniture
    • drainage

Eligibility of marine infrastructure such as boat ramps, jetties and guidance buoys, demonstrated as integral to the normal functioning of coastal and island communities, must be agreed by the Australian Government.

An asset that is an integral part of a state’s infrastructure and is associated with:

  • health
  • education
  • justice
  • welfare
  • public hospitals
  • schools
  • housing
  • prisons/correctional facilities
  • police
  • fire and emergency services’ stations
  • levees
  • state/territory or local government offices
  • stormwater infrastructure
  • water and waste water infrastructure operated as eligible undertakings 
  • river height monitoring assets used to deliver flood warnings to communities

What about assets that are not listed?

For assets not listed above, agreement on eligibility must be sought via the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) with the Australian Government.

What is an eligible undertaking?

An eligible undertaking is a body that is either:

  • a department or other agency of a state government or
  • established by or under state legislation for public purposes (for example, a local government) and in the operation of the asset provides services free of charge or at a rate that is 50 per cent or less of the cost to provide those services.

Which assets are ineligible?

The Australian Government identifies the following assets as ineligible:

  • road rest area infrastructure
  • fire trails
  • boat ramps or jetties located in national parks, reserves and recreation areas
  • sporting, recreational or community facilities (e.g. playgrounds and associated facilities)
  • religious establishments (e.g. churches, temples and mosques)
  • memorials and cemeteries
  • assets that are damaged due to contributing factors such as poor design, poor construction, inadequate maintenance or pre-disaster damage
  • environmental assets such as natural vegetation, waterways, beaches or undeveloped land
  • river walls and sea walls except where the wall directly protects an eligible essential public asset
  • privately owned infrastructure that may be used for emergency services.

Ineligible costs

Under the DRFA, eligibility criteria apply to the asset, the scope of works and the estimated or actual costs of repairing or reconstructing the asset. Costs considered ineligible for reimbursement by the Australian Government include:

  • any costs that would have been incurred even if the event did not occur, such as maintenance
  • costs reimbursable under other external funding sources, e.g. Insurance, Queensland Government Insurance Fund (QGIF)
  • non-specific indirect and overhead costs including internal administration costs such as finance, human resources, back-office processing and administration
  • consequential losses subsequent to the actual event (e.g. business interruptions, loss of income, damage not directly caused by the event, additional damage after the event)
  • costs that could normally be absorbed by, or reasonably managed within, the State’s financial, human and other resource capacity
  • costs associated with the preparation of DRFA submissions, reporting and acquittals.

Note: The above examples are not exhaustive and the primary reference regarding eligibility is the Australian Government’s DRFA 2018.

Tools and references

Note: Where there are (unintended) inconsistencies between this guidance, the Australian Government DRFA and the QDRR Guidelines, the DRFA will prevail.


Last reviewed: November 2018