WET WEATHER: A cane harvester in the fields along Bargara Rd.
WET WEATHER: A cane harvester in the fields along Bargara Rd. Mike Knott BUN270611CAN2

HELP OFFERED: Weather damage funds could help Bundy farmers

PRIMARY producers affected by severe weather last year have the chance to apply for funds that could help the recovery process.

Up to $25,000 is being offered to farmers in part of Bundaberg and the North Burnett region for storms which sturck in October.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the deadline to apply for the Category C Natural Disaster Recovery Grants, which provide help for the clean-up and restoration of affected operations, would now be extended to July 20.

Mr Furner said the new closing date will allow producers affected by further rainfall in recent months the opportunity to arrange contractors and complete repair and recovery works.

"To date, 239 Category C recovery grants worth a total of almost $1.69 million have been approved,” he said.

"Beef, sugar, and fruit and vegetable producers have been the main recipients of recovery grants including 84 applications approved for beef producers for over $535 000; 77 applications approved for cane growers totalling over $497 000, and; fruit and vegetable growers have had 53 applications approved for over $461 000 in assistance.

"The remaining $189 000 in assistance paid has been to dairy, grain and other livestock producers.”

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) delivers this financial assistance on behalf of the Queensland and Australian Governments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

QRIDA's Client Relations Manager Craig Turner said no two operations suffered the same damage and the journey to recovery could look very different.

Mr Turner said QRIDA will continue to provide support on the ground through Regional Area Manager Mark Barrett, based in Bundaberg, and through Client Service Officers on 1800 623 946.

An initial grant of $5,000 can be obtained with evidence of direct damage, with subsequent amounts of up to $20,000 available on proof of payment for repair and reinstatement costs.

Mr Turner reminded those who had already received the first $5,000 that further assistance may be available.

"If you've undertaken more recovery work since receiving your first grant, don't hesitate to speak to QRIDA about what you may be eligible for or visit our website at www.qrida.qld.gov.au,” he said.

"Once that work has been paid for in full, applications for subsequent amounts can easily be lodged through our online portal using the client number you were assigned on your first claim.”

In addition, seven (7) Category B natural disaster loans worth almost $1.5 million have been approved.

The Natural Disaster Assistance Loans of up to $250,000 and Natural Disaster Assistance (Essential Working Capital) Loans of up to $100,000 are still available.



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