Primary producers across Queensland hit by recent floods and cyclones can now access Extraordinary Disaster Assistance Grants of up to $75,000 to support their recovery journey.
Assistance is being provided through Category D of the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Federal Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the grants are in addition to the freight subsidies and concessional loans already available to disaster-impacted primary producers in Goondiwindi, Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands local government areas.
“The floods in Southern Queensland in late March hit farmers hard when they were already vulnerable following several years of drought,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Many of these farmers were looking forward to their first year of good crops, and now they face the loss of income from destroyed crops and reduced yields.
“Other primary producers in the region have also been impacted by the flooding with stock losses and damage to fencing and other infrastructure so these grants will provide some welcome relief.
“The Australian and Queensland Governments had already approved grants of up to $25,000 for the hardest hit producers following Tropical Cyclone Niran, and now we are extending those to up to $75,000 as well.
“These grants won’t just help the farmers, they will provide a valuable financial boost for communities that have also felt the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“We will ensure these impacted communities are not forgotten or left to fend for themselves.”
Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the grant assistance would help take the sting out of these recent natural disaster events for primary producers.
“Many Queensland communities experienced record-breaking rain in March, and we know many farmers in these areas suffered huge losses,” Mr Furner said.
“The damage to machinery and fencing, along with the loss of crops and top-soil from paddocks for many farmers means the road to recovery won’t be a short one.
“Our struggling producers have a massive clean-up and recovery job ahead of them following the floods and Tropical Cyclone Niran, so I’m grateful Queensland’s request for funding was approved by the Prime Minister.
“These Category D grants of up to $75,000 will help those impacted primary producers get back on their feet as soon as possible.
“The Queensland and Australian Governments remain committed to helping our communities recover from these natural disasters and we will continue to work with impacted councils and state agencies to provide assistance and support where it’s needed.”
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au.