Friday, 30 November 2018
Media release

Joint media release with the Hon Mark Furner MP - Bushfire assistance for primary producers

Disaster assistance has been activated for primary producers affected by the unprecedented bushfires in the Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton regional council areas.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is based on initial damage reports.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the impact of the fires and heatwave conditions have been particularly significant for the primary producer sector.

“Severe weather, including heatwave conditions, across Central Queensland has led to unprecedented fires burning across the region,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.

“Impacted primary producers in Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton can now access concessional loans and freight subsidies to help them get back on their feet.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland governments will continue to work closely to support ongoing recovery efforts and identify where further assistance can be provided.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the assistance available for primary producers is in addition to the community recovery assistance already activated under the DRFA.

“Preliminary advice indicates several areas have seen significant fire damage to property, vegetation and some losses of livestock,” Mr Furner said.

“Based on the advice received to date, DRFA assistance has now been activated under Category B for primary producers, including direct damage concessional loans of up to $250,000, essential working capital loans of up to $100,000 and freight subsidies of up to $5,000 for primary producers in Mackay, Gladstone and Rockhampton.

“As conditions improve and access to the regions becomes available, staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will conduct on-the-ground assessments to better understand the impacts.

“We strongly urge everyone to keep updated on conditions and not to return to their properties until it is safe to do so.”

For further information on category B assistance or recovery tips visit https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/environment/natural-disasterinformation/disaster-declared-areas.

For information on animal welfare in natural disasters visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/rural-disasterrecovery/disaster-recovery-livestock/animal-welfare

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au.