FARMERS affected by devastating flooding in Queensland’s north have started receiving payments under the Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants program.
The recovery grants are just one component of the joint Queensland and Commonwealth funded disaster assistance available to impacted primary producers.
Inspecting the damage in Julia Creek today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the first $75,000 Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grant assistance payment had been processed for a local beef cattle producer.
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“While no amount of money will immediately replace the hundreds of thousands of cattle lost during these floods, these grants will provide some financial assistance to help primary producers deal with this tragic disaster,” the Premier said.
“These recovery grants will help with some of the costs of immediate clean-up and reinstatement activities in the aftermath of the historic and unprecedented flooding event while my government works with industry on a longer term plan.
“There is other assistance available and I urge anyone affected to look into what help there is, for example primary producers can also apply for concessional loans up to $250,000 available for restocking and other purposes.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said another application for $9,000 had been paid to a cane grower in the Hinchinbrook Shire in the Far North.
“These recovery grants which are administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) are available to affected primary producers across eleven shires stretching from the coast to far western Queensland,” Mr Furner said.
“For cattle producers in the North West, given the size and scale of some of the property damage and livestock losses experienced, it will be important they look to explore all financial assistance options available including their commercial bank.”
The Agricultural Minister joined the Premier, as well as State Disaster Recovery Co-ordinator Major-General Stuart Smith and QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll in Julia Creek on Wednesday.
QRIDA CEO Cameron MacMillan said primary producers affected during the flooding should apply for assistance to help ease the financial burden of cleaning up and returning their business to normal.
“While some producers in North and Far North Queensland are still coming to terms with the damage caused to their property and livestock, they can take some comfort knowing there is financial help available,” Mr MacMillan said.
“Producers are reminded to take photos of the direct damage to accompany their application.
“In addition, you can provide other evidence such as relevant quotes, estimates or tax invoices as you would retain in the normal course of your business.
“While it is not a requirement, the more information you can provide to support your application will assist towards processing your application as expediently as possible.”
QRIDA staff members are on the ground this week in Cloncurry and Julia Creek to assist affected producers with their applications and other queries.
“Existing QRIDA loan clients can contact us to discuss your situation when you are ready, including repayment and other options to help alleviate financial pressure,” Mr MacMillan said.