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.