Government and industry move quickly to provide flood recovery support
Published Wednesday, 30 January, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh
A range of Queensland Government support, including concessional loans and freight subsidies, is now available for producers and small business operators impacted by the floods.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said he and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey, had asked the Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey to urgently activate Category B disaster assistance.
Speaking from Warwick during his second day of inspections of flood hit areas in the Fassifern Valley and Eastern and Western Darling Downs, Mr McVeigh thanked Minister Dempsey for his very quick response.
“Under Category B, concessional loans and freight subsidies for primary producers, and concessional loans for small business are available,” Mr McVeigh said.
“I am maintaining constant contact with farmers, agricultural industry bodies and local governments to discuss the impacts of the current flooding and the range of support that is needed.”
Category B assistance is now available to these 21 local government areas:
· Banana Shire Council
· Brisbane City Council
· Bundaberg Regional Council
· Fraser Coast Regional Council
· Gladstone Regional Council
· Gold Coast City Council
· Gympie Regional Council
· Ipswich Regional Council
· Lockyer Valley Regional Council
· Logan City Council
· Moreton Bay Regional Council
· North Burnett Regional Council
· Redland City Council
· Rockhampton Regional Council
· Scenic Rim Regional Council
· Somerset Regional Council
· South Burnett Regional Council
· Southern Downs Regional Council
· Sunshine Coast Regional Council
· Toowoomba Regional Council
· Western Downs Regional Council.
Mr McVeigh said he may seek to extend assistance to other Shires as the full picture of the flood damage emerged in the coming days.
“We will also be looking at Category C, which includes standard recovery and exceptional circumstances grants for the worst-affected Shires,” he said.
“I have asked industry to provide me with as much detail as possible about which sectors have been hit hardest and where.
“This will allow my department to make a comprehensive application to the federal government for funding under the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
“Producers outside these Shires who have suffered serious damage can apply for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property (IDSP) declaration.
“In the meantime, flood-hit farmers and rural businesses should contact their local government disaster management group for immediate support.”
Mr McVeigh said the first meeting of the Agricultural Control Group had already provided an initial summary of the damage caused by flooding and winds over the past few days.
“It is a sobering picture,” he said.
“No industry has escaped unscathed with reports of significant infrastructure damage, crop and stock losses, power outages and communication and transport problems.
“I don’t want to overstate the scale of the recovery ahead of us but our farmers and fishers and small businesses have really taken a hammering from Rockhampton right down the coast to the south east corner.
“While industry conducts its assessments in the affected local government areas, my department is keeping an eye on any emerging animal welfare issues.
“We will work closely with producers and transport authorities to find solutions to animal welfare issues and reactivate supply chains.
“Despite the current damage and disruption, some crops will still be salvageable and many producers can still supply good quality produce to local and interstate markets.
“Nor should we overlook the benefits that many other producers outside the immediate impact area will derive from the good rainfall.
“Rest assured, I will be doing everything within my power to secure support and funding from the Commonwealth and other agencies to help our agricultural industries clean up in the short term and resume normal operations in the longer term.”
For information on Category B assistance visit www.daff.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
For information on small business support visit www.business.qld.gov.au
[ENDS] 30 January 2013
Media: Louise Gillis – 0407 394 580