Recovery assistance grants of up to $25,000 are now available to support the recovery of primary producers in North Queensland impacted by Tropical Cyclone Niran.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the extraordinary DRFA Category C assistance would provide financial support to drive the recovery of primary producers in Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands.
“Primary producers in these regions have reported between 20 and 100 per cent crop losses, as well as plant machinery and equipment damage,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Shortly after the cyclone hit, I visited the region and met with growers. Seeing firsthand stripped banana plantations was a stark reminder of Mother Nature’s power.
“Primary producers like the ones I met are vital to the Australian economy and it’s imperative that we support them as they recover from not only this destructive weather event, but also COVID-19.
“Helping our farmers get back on their feet so they can continue to generate economic opportunities for rural and regional communities is a focus for all governments in Australia.
“That’s why the Australian and the Queensland Governments have worked quickly and collaboratively to make these $25,000 grants available for repairs to buildings and fencing and to undertake clean-up activities.”
Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said the total economic impact on primary producers is estimated at $146 million in the Cassowary Coast region alone.
“Tropical Cyclone Niran has left communities in North Queensland with significant, ongoing impacts and extensive losses in the agricultural sector, particularly within the banana industry,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“While banana growers have been the most heavily impacted, impact assessments have identified significant damage to sugarcane, passionfruit, avocados, production nurseries and other perennial tree crops.
“The Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands communities were already recovering from previous natural disasters, as well as the impacts from COVID-19.
“The Australian and Queensland Governments are committed to working with impacted communities to ensure they receive the support they need.