MORE than $10 million in natural disaster assistance has now been handed out to help primary producers, small businesses, and non-profit organisations get back on their feet following Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
More than 1,270 Natural Disaster Recovery (Category C) grants of up to $25,000 and 20 Natural Disaster Assistance (Category B) loans of up to $250,000 have been approved so far.
The disaster assistance funding, delivered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA), has helped producers, businesses, and non-profits with clean-up, restoration and re-establishment costs.
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Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the majority of assistance to date has gone to primary producers, with over $6.5 million in disaster loans and grants approved.
“From sugar, beef and horticulture production in the north to dairy and small crops in the south east, Cyclone Debbie impacted crucial rural industries across Queensland,” Minister Byrne said.
“These rural businesses and the people behind them are the backbone of regional communities and economies, and while $10 million in total assistance to date is a significant milestone, we will continue to work closely with those still on the road to recovery.”
With Category C grants set to close on 13 October, the Minister said there was still time for affected producers, businesses, and non-profits to apply.
“QRIDA’s team are there to help, and can talk you through what’s required for the application or how to submit a claim online,” he said.
Under Natural Disaster Recovery Grants (Category C) an initial grant of $5,000 can be obtained with evidence of direct damage, with subsequent amounts of up to $20,000 available on proof of payment for cleaning and reinstatement costs.
Natural Disaster Assistance Loans (Category B) of up to $250,000 for primary producers and small businesses and loan and grant packages of up to $105,000 for non-profit organisations are available with an interest rate of 1.16%. Loan applications close 30 June 2019.
Natural Disaster Assistance Loans and Natural Disaster Recovery Grants are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.