New funding available for producers hit by Cyclone Debbie
Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the grants would be a lifeline to producers who have lost crops, stock and infrastructure in the cyclonic winds and associated flooding.
Category C assistance under the joint Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) was activated based on damage reports, the Minister said.
“My department’s staff inspected more than 325 properties across the regions and worked with industry and producers to quantify and document the full impact to agriculture and demonstrate the need for Category C assistance grants,” he said.
“The estimated damage across all agriculture and fisheries industries within the Whitsunday and Mackay areas is over $300 million.
“In Bowen, there are horticulture impacts of over $100 million in vegetable crop losses, with yield reductions forecast for next year’s mango crops.
“Proserpine and Mackay are suffering from $139 million in lost sugar production and there is $30 million in damage to Whitsunday and Mackay beef properties including infrastructure and fencing damage.
“In South-East Queensland the horticulture industry has suffered impacts of around $7 million, nurseries have lost $10 million in stock and infrastructure damage and dairy farmers have suffered impacts of $6 million.
“Overall about $35 million in impacts to agriculture and fisheries is forecast in the Council areas of Logan City, Scenic Rim and parts of the Gold Coast." ■