Many Palm Islanders staying in Townsville aren’t eligible for support payments despite being evacuated

For the past six weeks, Sophia Barry has been staying with relatives while she tried to find a home in Townsville. By Wednesday, after the city’s poorest neighbourhoods were flooded and her brother’s home evacuated, she had no choice but to return to Palm Island.

Local outreach groups estimate more than 1,000 Indigenous people from Palm Island live in Townsville or are staying for extended periods, almost as many as live permanently on the island.

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