Primary producers across the Wide Bay-Burnett region impacted by the recent ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth rainfall event can now apply for natural disaster recovery assistance.
Acting Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Ryan said Category B assistance under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) was activated based on damage reports collated by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
“Recent heavy rain and flash flooding across Wide Bay-Burnett has significantly impacted the agriculture sector across the following local government areas,” Mr Ryan said.
- Fraser Coast
- North Burnett
- South Burnett
“While it’s still very early days and the situation is unfolding, we have had impact reports from Cotton Australia, Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland and Canegrowers,” he said.
“We have received reports of significant loss of fences and impacts to infrastructure, lost cattle, crop losses, erosion and soil loss and impact to the supply chain.
“Category B assistance will help affected producers with assistance including concessional loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 at a concessional interest rate, and freight subsidies of up to $5,000.
“Department of Agriculture and Fisheries staff will continue to conduct impact assessments and work with producers and industry and will consider a Category C activation request as more information comes to hand.
“AgForce are collecting information from producers using an online map which provides access to a survey where producers can report the flood extent on their property, animal welfare concerns and damage assessment. These reports will also help determine the need for additional assistance to the impacted communities.”
Primary producers who have suffered major damage outside the above declared areas may apply for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property (IDSP) declaration.
“An IDSP provides access to Queensland Government assistance similar to the Category B DRFA of freight subsidies and concessional loans,” Mr Ryan said.