Businesses and Farmers in flood-affected parts of Northern Queensland will have more helping hands thanks to a $2 million boost for Financial Counsellors and Industry Recovery Officers.
Federal Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the money will help hire more staff, making it easier for rural businesses to get advice and support.
“These are our angels on the ground helping regional businesses get back on their feet,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Both the recovery officers and financial counsellors will help rural businesses access grants and get back to work.
“For the past three months, recovery officers have been on the ground in Northern Queensland helping more than 150 farmers.
“They’ve been helping cane, horticulture, nursery and garden growers get grants through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
“We’re also funding three more Financial Counsellors to work in flood-affected regions.”
Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said an additional five full-time recovery officers were appointed in early August to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and have been placed in impacted shires across North West Queensland for at least 12 months.
“Our recovery officers are passionate about helping the north-west to recover and personally experienced or know people affected by the floods,” Mr Furner said.
They are using their local connections and working with councils, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries extension officers, Natural Resource Management groups, AgForce and other organisations to help with a coordinated recovery approach.
“They are delivering field days, workshops and on-property support to provide information to graziers on issues such as restocking and freight subsidies and financial strategies for rebuilding the herd and business.
“Our North West Queensland Industry Recovery Officers are based in Winton, McKinlay, Cloncurry, Flinders and the Gulf and will complement the four part-time Industry Recovery Officers working through Queensland Farmers Federation along the coast.”
This package is part of the $242 million jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) package announced by the Prime Minister and Premier in March.
For further information visit daf.qld.gov.au or call the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.