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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Queensland primary producers thrown lifeline

PRIMARY producers who have been significantly impacted by the ongoing bushfires ravaging Queensland will be able to access disaster assistance loans and freight assistance.

Disaster Assistance Loans are available to assist primary producers with re-establishing normal operations, offering up to $250,000 over 10 years.

These concessions will assist producers in repairing or replacing damaged plant and equipment and farm buildings, and purchasing livestock to replace those lost in the disaster event.

They will also be able to use the funding to meet carry-on requirements including re-planting, restoring or re-establishing affected areas, sustenance, essential property operations and paying rent and rates.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said he understands the enormity of the effect of the bushfires on Queensland’s rural communities and primary producers.

“These Disaster Assistance Loans are available to help our primary producers re-establish their operations as quickly as possible,” he said.

“I’d also like to thank the fire crews fighting blazes across the state – it’s an enormous and dangerous task and our thoughts are with you and your communities.”

An Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration provides eligible primary producers with access to freight assistance up to $5000 to move emergency fodder for livestock to their home property; building, fencing materials, machinery and equipment; and animals purchased for restocking as a result of the disaster.

Primary producers who have been impacted by a natural disaster can report the impacts in the Queensland DAF Agriculture Disaster Impact Survey.

This helps determine if additional assistance is needed to support primary producers during recovery. You need to include date-stamped photos, which most phone cameras do automatically.

Disaster Assistance Loans are administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on behalf of the Queensland and Australian governments.

For information on applications and assistance, visit this website www.qrida.qld.gov.au or call 1800 623 946.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Proactive patrols improve dog owner behaviour and Map tracks explorers.

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