State Government assessment teams have been on the ground in North Queensland since Wednesday to assess damage on farms in the wake of Cyclone Niran.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said that under the Federal Government’s guidelines for the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, damage assessments must be carried out to understand the level of impact.
“However, individual property owners who have suffered significant loss because of the cyclone can apply immediately for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration, which makes immediate assistance available to them,” Mr Furner said.
“As we go through the Federal Government’s required assessment process, my Department right now has IDSP declarations activated that mean producers can access up to $5000 for freight costs and low-interest loans up to $250,000.
“As always, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with our farmers as they get back on their feet.”
Mr Furner said the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries had staff in the region ahead of Cyclone Niran’s effect on coastal regions.
“Our officers are experienced in providing rapid assistance to our farmers and in conducting these assessments, and I have asked the Department to have this completed as soon as possible,” Mr Furner said.
“It is hoped assessments in the Cassowary Coast region will be completed by the end of the week, and some of the other regions in the coming days. These assessments will be ongoing.”
Mr Furner praised the region’s farmers, in particular those within Queensland’s $600 million banana industry.
“We know how hard they work to put great Queensland bananas in homes across the nation, and it is tough for them when weather causes this kind of setback,” he said.