More relief supports farmers’ drought recovery

Thousands of drought-affected Queensland farmers are to get more relief from state fees and land rents.

Nearly 15,000 drought affected Queensland farmers will save up to $2.2 million in annual water licence fees over two years.

And more than 8500 Queensland farmers and businesses will have an extra year before having to pay their state land rent, and half could also receive a discount.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Queensland farmers were doing it tough, with bushfires, COVID-19 and around two thirds of Queensland still drought-declared.

“Queensland has been impacted just like other economies around the world by the global coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

“We’re continuing to manage our health response.

“That’s why we can start rolling out Queensland’s economic plan to support jobs for Queenslanders.

“The drought continues to have a serious impact on our food and fibre producers, and Queensland’s agricultural production.

“As Queensland seeks to recover through our economic recovery strategy, Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, we are going to need our traditional strengths like agriculture.

“The relief measures I’m announcing today will be a further contribution to helping farmers rebuild and supporting jobs in our agriculture industry.”

Almost 8600 grazing and primary production lessees will have their state rent deferred for this financial year.

This includes cattle and pig farmers, and cane, fruit, flower and vegetable growers across 45 fully and partly drought declared local government areas.

Dr Lynham said almost 4000 lessees would also be eligible for a further rebate of up to 18 per cent rebate on their rent.

The support continues the existing commitment to waive fees in drought declared areas for the current 2019-20 financial year.

Last week the government also announced:

  • $5 million in grants for cluster fencing in Western Queensland
  • $5.5 million digital transformation in agribusiness – to develop integrated supply chains that improve traceability, biosecurity and food safety.
  • $5 million reinvigorated agricultural trade relationships – to support

    e-commerce and virtual trade facilitation in key markets and assist coordination of demand for additional regular air freighter services.

  • $2 million agribusiness diversification assistance – to build capability and explore potential diversification opportunities in agricultural businesses, including for tourism.

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