Cyclone-hit growers welcome recovery assistance

19 April 2017

Cyclone-hit growers welcome recovery assistance

CANEGROWERS has welcomed the announcement of Category C disaster recovery assistance for Queensland farmers impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

“This makes $25,000 in clean-up and recovery grants available to our members facing the huge job of sorting out the damage left by strong winds and flooding across their properties,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.

“I want to thank everyone in the industry who worked to assess and report on the damage in the aftermath of the cyclone and the state and federal agencies which have processed and approved this vital assistance.

“These grants are not compensation for crop losses – they are an important hand up to get these businesses back on their feet and contributing to the Queensland economy as quickly as possible.”

Work underway on cane farms through the Proserpine, Mackay, Plane Creek and other areas down to the Gold Coast includes rehabilitating paddocks with washout.

“Some paddocks have serious erosion,” Mr Galligan said. “And in many cases, crossings need to be rebuilt and there is debris such as huge tree limbs and gravel embedded in the cane.”

The grants can also be used to repair damaged infrastructure such as fencing and repair and recondition essential plant and equipment.

“Obviously there needs to be rules and auditing and I urge growers to take photographs to help document the damage,” Mr Galligan said.

“Applying through QRAA is not an onerous exercise – it involves downloading and filling in a form.

“I urge everyone who has been impacted by Cyclone Debbie and is needing to undertake repair and recovery work on their farm to investigate the assistance available.”

More details of what is eligible and how to claim the grant and Category B concessional natural disaster loans are available from QRAA at www.qraa.qld.gov.au or by calling 1800 623 946.

Freight subsidy grants, up to $5,000 which can be used for livestock fodder, building and fencing materials and machinery, are available from www.daf.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 25 23.

Personal hardship and distress assistance is still available to families (up to $900) and individuals ($400) affected by Cyclone Debbie through the Queensland Government www.qld.gov.au/communityrecovery or by calling 1800 173 349.