Farmers in NSW and Queensland may now apply for up to $50,000 in incentives to help them rescue damaged crops and livestock, rebuild fences, and replace machinery. The funds are co-funded by the state and federal governments to aid agriculture’s recovery from the November floods. Farmers in local government areas that were declared disaster regions as a result of the heavy flooding can apply for the payments right away. According to Tony Mahar, chief executive of the National Farmers Federation, the damage caused by crop loss and wrecked infrastructure amounted to millions of dollars for some. “We expect the paperwork and red tape for these grants will be minimal and that the grant money will reach farmers as soon as possible,” Mr Mahar said.
It’s critical that farmers can quickly replace the machinery and infrastructure needed to return to normal operations. It’s also crucial that all levels of government work together as a matter of priority to repair affected public infrastructure including roads and bridges. Farmers’ productivity simply cannot be further impeded by delays to these activities. Primary producers, small companies, and non-profit organisations that have been impacted by the recent floods can now apply for up to $50,000 in awards.
Extraordinary assistance payments will be available to qualifying applicants in the Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North Burnett, and South Burnett local government areas under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), which are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments. Senator Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, said it was critical to activate exceptional grant support under the DRFA to enable primary farmers, small business owners, and non-profit organisations to recover from the devastation. Agriculture is a major industry in the Wide Bay-Burnett region. The flood has impacted the horticulture, cotton, sugar cane, grain, livestock and dairy sectors, so these extraordinary assistance grants of $50,000 will be a welcome boost to help primary producers get back on their feet.
Acting Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles said small businesses and non-profit organisations who have felt the wrath of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth can also access grants of up to $50,000 to assist with their recovery. Primary producers and small businesses are the lifeblood of regional communities, so it is imperative that the government supports them in this crisis and gives them the help they need as they work to restock, replant, repair and recover.