The Morrison Government has announced further support for flood-affected North Queensland farmers, providing them with up to $400,000 for restocking, replanting and on-farm infrastructure across two new grants.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the restocking/replanting and on-farm infrastructure grants mean primary producers will have access to cash to start rebuilding their farm businesses when the time is right.
“This seed funding is about helping people get back on their feet faster.
“Locally operated family holdings will have access to up to $400,000 through two grant programs - one for restocking and replanting, and the other to replace on-farm infrastructure lost and damaged during the floods.
“When I visited Cloncurry I met with families who have been on the land for generations, building up their herd. This is going to take years to recover from.
“We will keep working on this, there’s more to do,” the Prime Minister said.
The grants were initiated by the newly-established North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency, led by The Hon Shane Stone, AC QC.
“Shane has been on the ground meeting with primary producers in the Cloncurry and McKinlay shires. He came back to me with this practical assistance.
“The money needs to be made available as soon as possible. I understand these producers don’t have time to stuff around, we need to make this simple,” the Prime Minister said.
We will work with the Queensland Government to ensure the programs are administered through existing mechanisms to make it as easy as possible for farmers to access the funds.
Farmers will contribute 50 per cent of the total cost, and the Morrison Government, through these grants, will provide the remainder up to $400,000.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon David Littleproud MP said without support, a significant part of Australia’s vital agricultural industry will struggle to recover.
“Many of the primary producers affected by these floods had also been dealing with years of drought. They’ve already shown great strength and resilience.”
Minister for Defence Industry, Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, said these grants not only help primary producers to recover sooner, but stand to yield a significant benefit to local economies across a range of sectors.
“I have travelled throughout North Queensland to the hardest hit areas to speak with local mayors and graziers about what they need to get back on their feet,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Responding to this unprecedented disaster, which has decimated an industry that is vital to the survival of the local economy, demands a unique response.
“There is a lot more work to be done but this significant contribution is a critical first step for long term industry-wide recovery.”
Today’s announcement builds on the already almost $200 million in immediate assistance committed to people affected by extensive flooding in North and Far North Queensland earlier this year.