Disaster assistance after FNQ storm damage


8 March, 2021


Disaster Relief Assistance
Ministerial visits
Farm clean up help offered


Disaster Relief Assistance

The Queensland and Federal Governments have activated the first steps in Disaster Recovery Assistance for Far Northern growers affected by last week’s cyclonic storm.

Financial assistance will be provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

However, initially this only includes access to low interest loans of up to $250,000 to repair or replace damaged buildings or equipment affected by Tropical Cyclone Niran and subsidies up to $5000 to assist with freight costs of moving crops, livestock, fodder, water and other farm equipment.

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council has asked both the State and Federal Agriculture Ministers for Category C – Special Disaster Assistance Recover Grants (up to $25,000) as a more tangible means (under current emergency funding arrangements) to assist growers with clean-up costs and getting crops back into production.

We have also asked the Queensland Government for wage subsidy assistance to assist growers to retain workers.

In order to activate Category C and D recovery grants, the Queensland Premier must formally put a case to the Prime Minister for approval. Crop loss assessment data gathered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries over the past week, with assistance from ABGC, is being considered by the Queensland Government for this case. 

Information on disaster assistance available to primary producers can be found at www.qrida.qld.gov.au or by phoning 1800 623 946

ABGC will continue to keep growers up to date with any new disaster funding announcements via e-bulletins and SMS.


Ministerial visits

Both the State and Federal Agriculture Ministers responded to an industry request to see first-hand the damage suffered to crops in last week’s storm and talk with growers about the need for disaster recovery assistance.

On Friday, Federal Ag Minister David Littleproud met with more than 50 growers in Innisfail where he heard a range of industry concerns including the need for wage subsidies to retain staff and recovery grants.

On Saturday, Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner met with ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe and ABGC director Jade Buchanan, visiting two badly affected farms and talking with growers.

Both ministers have been made aware that damage incurred by some growers would affect their production and viability for the next eight to 12 months and without some form of disaster funding or staff retention assistance some of these growers will not be in a position to fully recover or rebuild.


Farm clean up help offered

The Opal Packaging Company would like to help growers who need assistance to clean up damaged plantations by offering some of its casual workers to assist in fields over the next few weeks to clear bunch covers, string etc.

Opal will supply its workers with PPE, gumboots, rubber gloves etc. If you are in need of assistance please contact: Amanda Ogilvie, Customer Service at amanda.ogilvie@opalanz.com or phone  07 3085 3285; Noeleen Assman, Depot Supervisor at  noeleen.assman@opalanz.com or phone 0438 057 333; Matthew Howarth, Regional Territory Manager at matthew.howarth@opalanz.com or phone  0490 387 092; Stephen Dever, Business Manager at Stephen.dever@opalanz.com orphone 0408 484 441

Outrigging Clubs offer assistance

And, members of local Far Northern outrigging clubs have also offered to help growers in their storm clean ups.

Anyone who is in need of a hand to clear damaged paddocks should contact Matt Abbott on 0427 027 253 so working bees can be organised.





Contact Details
It is important that ABGC is advised if you know of growers who are not receiving these e-bulletins or the Australian Banana magazine. We may have out of date email or postal addresses for these growers. Please email any updated contact details to: 

Also, it is important for membership purposes that growers advise ABGC if they change trading name or their agent (wholesaler) or add one, and also to let their agent know.