Communities in southern Queensland that were affected by the 2023 bushfires are being offered further support by state and federal governments. 

The initial package includes $5 million in Exceptional Circumstances Recovery Grants for impacted farmers and primary producers in the Local Government areas of Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Maranoa, North Burnett, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs.

Eligible primary producers who have suffered direct damage from the 2023 bushfires can apply for grants up to $75,000, to help with short-term recovery needs including pasture rehabilitation, fodder, replacing livestock, and repairs to infrastructure and equipment.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said, “These new support packages build on the immediate assistance already rolled out to these areas, and will address some of the longer-term recovery needs. We will continue to work with the Queensland Government on what else may be needed to support recovery efforts.”

Grants will be administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

The package also includes a $1 million Local Recovery and Resilience Grant for Western Downs Regional Council, in recognition of the damage caused by the Tara fires. 

This funding will help the Council address economic, social and community recovery needs and support future resilience measures.

Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Nikki Boyd, said, ‘“The Local Recovery and Resilience Grant for Western Downs will provide direct financial assistance for relief, recovery and resilience activities, while the recovery grants for our producers will help them return to full operation sooner.”

This additional assistance builds on a range of support provided at the time, including hardship payments for residents, freight subsidies and support to reconnect electricity and other essential services.

“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority will keep working closely with councils to support their recovery efforts and help them bounce back,” Ms Boyd said.

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