Financial assistance to help producers affected by cyclone

Published Wednesday, 29 March, 2017 at 10:34 PM

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development
The Honourable Bill Byrne

Disaster assistance has been activated for producers affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in the Whitsunday and Mackay Regional Council areas.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development Bill Byrne said joint State and Federal Category B assistance under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) has been activated based on initial damage reports.

“At this preliminary stage, the most significant agricultural impacts are damage to horticulture crops, sugar cane fields, irrigation equipment and cane train infrastructure.

“The beef cattle industry is also impacted from the high winds, debris and flooding.

“We want to help producers recover quickly, so we’ve activated Category B assistance which includes concessional loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 and freight subsidies of up to $5,000.

“Producers in the Whitsunday Regional Council area were planting winter vegetables and they’re expected to suffer heavy crop losses as well as infrastructure, crop and irrigation equipment damage.

“In the Mackay Regional Council district, it’s understood that the cane fields at Proserpine, Mackay and Sarina have been flattened and it’s expected that production will be reduced and harvesting costs increased.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will continue to work closely with impacted industries and producers to monitor the region and I will be advised if we need further additions to Category B activation, or if we need to consider higher levels of assistance from the Australian Government under NDRRA as more information comes to hand.”

For further information on category B assistance or recovery tips visit

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