The Federal and Queensland Governments have extended bushfire relief measures for farmers and councils impacted in southern Queensland.
Primary producers can now apply for concessional interest rate loans to help replace or repair assets that have been significantly damaged by a recognised disaster. This includes loss of significant income, to recover and return to viable operations.
Impacted primary producers can also apply for freight subsidies, to assist with the transport of livestock, fodder or water for livestock, along with building, fencing equipment or machinery to the primary producer’s home property.
The assistance is jointly funded through the Federal-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for nine Local Government Areas:
- Bundaberg Regional Council
- Central Highlands Regional Council
- Gladstone Regional Council
- Maranoa Regional Council
- North Burnett Regional Council
- South Burnett Regional Council
- Southern Downs Regional Council
- Toowoomba Regional Council
- Western Downs Regional Council
Help is also available for 13 Queensland councils to undertake Counter Disaster Operations like firefighting and recovery operations, aimed at protecting the general public and ensuring public health and safety.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said that the Federal and State Governments are pleased to be able to provide assistance to the farmers who have been hit hard by these fires right around southern Queensland.
“Both levels of Government have worked together to activate a range of emergency payments for impacted residents, and I’m pleased to see around $400,000 already landing in Queensland pockets,” Mr Watt said.
“The support for local councils also ensures the reimbursement of extraordinary costs associated with cleaning up and repairing essential public assets.”
Acting Premier, Steven Miles, said that local councils and first responders have done a remarkable job protecting their communities and commended them for their efforts to date.
“We will continue to work closely with the Federal Government as parts of southern Queensland, particularly primary producers, move from emergency response to recovery,” Mr Miles said.
Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Rural Communities, Mark Furner, said that the Queensland Government understands the significant impact the fires have had on rural communities and primary producers.
“These extra relief measures are available to help our primary producers address that impact and get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”