Extra time to lodge applications for drought assistance
Published Thursday, 02 April, 2020 at 09:19 AM
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner
Queensland primary producers will have extra time to lodge drought assistance claims and are being urged to apply electronically due to the impact of COVID-19 on claim processing times.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner reassured Queensland primary producers that drought support and assistance will continue during these unprecedented times.
“COVID-19 is having an extraordinary impact on our community and economy, and as we respond to these challenges, I want to emphasise that the delivery of drought assistance is considered a critical service in our COVID-19 response,” Mr Furner said.
“I strongly encourage you to apply for drought assistance electronically as there most likely will be significant delays in postal claims and it will make it easier to distribute claims to our staff working from home for processing.
“Scanned claims complete with copies of the relevant tax invoices can be lodged electronically by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“And I’m extending the timeframe for receipt of applications after the invoice date from 6 to 12 months as some producers may also experience delays in preparing their applications.
“This extension will apply to claims lodged from 11 March 2020 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
“I’d like to point out this provision will not apply to applications that were late prior to this date and I will still make decisions for an exemption for these older claims on a case-by-case basis.
“Additionally, I’m extending access to emergency bee feed sugar from Hive and Wellness’ Richlands headquarters for beekeepers from one month’s supply at a time to two months to help limit the frequency of visits to the facility.
“The Queensland Government acknowledges that agricultural, fisheries and forestry businesses are essential and will continue to be supported as we work together throughout this COVID-19 incident.”
For further information on drought assistance visit daf.qld.gov.au or call the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 and for COVID-19 updates visit qld.gov.au.
Media contact: Ron Goodman 0427 781 920