Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called on the Federal Government to join an aid package to help farmers and communities affected by the North West Floods.
- Beef Industry Recovery Concessional Loans
- Flood Freight Subsidy Restocking and Agistment Scheme
- Biosecurity Entity Registration Fee Exemptions and
- Industry recovery officers and financial counsellors to help farm businesses
Queensland has committed $11 million to the program but is relying on the Federal Government to match it.
The measures were identified in a summit of mayors from seven affected shires plus representatives of Agforce, JBS, the Red Meat Advisory Council, Australian Agricultural Company, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Beef and Cattle Holdings, Northern Australia Pastoral Company and Teys Australia along with Agriculture Minister Mark Furner, Transport Minister Mark Bailey, the shadow agriculture spokesman and the Member for Traeger.
“The point of meeting face to face is to confront problems together and come up with solutions that can be applied as soon as possible,” the Premier said.
An urgent priority is road and rail repair so that cattle in drought-stricken parts of the country can be moved to areas of the north west which are now abundant with feed.
This would help both the growers in droughted areas and those recovering from the floods.
More than 400 Transport Department and Queensland Rail staff are making those repairs.
Forms to access government grants have been simplified and recovery officers and financial counsellors are also assisting growers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said recovery efforts were already well underway in the north-west.
“Disposing of dead livestock is one of the most heartbreaking jobs faced by producers right now, but it needn’t be a task they face on their own,” Mr Furner said.
“Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is on the ground in the north, with two DAF staff members placed at each of the major impacted centres to assist with disposal planning and undertake impact assessments.
“Departmental officers have also worked alongside the Australian Defence Force, local government and agricultural industry groups to coordinate fodder drop operations for stranded livestock.
“And to assist with clean-up activities, Category C assistance has been activated under joint Commonwealth State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
“A streamlined assessment and approval process will ensure grants of up to $75,000 are allocated quickly, to the people with the greatest need.
“While these grants cannot undo the damage and distress caused by stock losses, I know they will help ease some of the financial burden as producers restart activity in the north-west.”
Category C recovery grants, administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, are available to affected primary producers across 11 flood-affected shires.