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    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Financial assistance to help producers affected by North Queensland flooding

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Thursday, March 29, 2018

    Financial assistance to help producers affected by North Queensland flooding

    Disaster assistance has been activated for producers in a number of shires affected by the recent heavy rains across North Queensland.

    Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said Category B assistance was activated for the Hinchinbrook Shire Council, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, and the Cloncurry and McKinlay Shire Councils.

    “North Queensland saw significant rainfall from the two recent weather systems and departmental staff performed impact assessments on affected properties,” Minister Furner said.

    “It was found that the sugar cane industry in the Hinchinbrook Shire Council area, particularly along the Herbert River, was where the main impacts occurred.

    “The worst affected area in Hinchinbrook Shire is Lower Herbert Abergowrie with significant erosion damage and debris deposit in paddocks for some growers.

    “To help these affected producers, we’ve activated Category B assistance under the joint Queensland and Australian Government’s Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).”

    Category B assistance includes concessional loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 and freight subsidies of up to $5,000.

    Minister Furner said primary producers who have suffered major damage outside the above declared areas may apply for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property (IDSP) declaration.

    “An IDSP provides access to Queensland Government assistance similar to the Category B NDRRA of freight subsidies and concessional loans,” he said.

    “The good news is that generally industries reported no damage or only minor impacts and most producers have welcomed the rainfall.

    “The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will continue to work closely with impacted industries and producers to monitor the region.

    “I will be advised if we need further additions to Category B activation, or if we need to consider higher levels of assistance from the Australian Government under NDRRA as more information comes to hand.”

    Category B Natural Disaster Assistance loans are administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on behalf of the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments. For more information or to apply visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or freecall 1800 623 946.

    ENDS

    Media – Tim Auguston 0417 768 626