Primary producers who suffered extreme flood damage in 14 local government areas in Queensland in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Oswald will be able to access a loan and grant package of up to $650,000 under the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme.
The Category D assistance will be available to those primary producers that suffered damage to the extent that previously announced assistance measures will not be enough to restore their business.
The loan includes a grant of up to $50,000, and the first two years of a loan would be interest and repayment free.
From the third year of the loan, the new record low 1.7 per cent interest rate for disaster loans will initially apply.
The Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme will be delivered by QRAA and is made available under Category D of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
The Queensland and Australian Governments will equally share the cost of the loans.
For the worst impacted areas, an additional package of Category D measures to help with employment and clean up and recovery is still being negotiated between the Queensland and Federal Governments.
Areas currently for the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme:
(The numbers list after certain councils relate to specific areas within those council –details of the specific area each number refers to are provide at the bottom of this article)
- Banana Regional Council 1
- Bundaberg Regional Council
- Fraser Coast Regional Council
- Gladstone Regional Council
- Goondiwindi Regional Council 2
- Gympie Regional Council
- Ipswich City Council 3
- Lockyer Valley Regional Council
- North Burnett Regional Council
- Scenic Rim Regional Council
- Somerset Regional Council 4
- South Burnett Regional Council
- Southern Downs Regional Council 5
- Toowoomba Regional Council 6
This assistance is similar to the loans that were provided after the 2011 floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi.
Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Gillard Government was boosting its support to provide more financial assistance to help primary producers and businesses.
“The Gillard Government is working to ensure Queensland gets back on its feet – that includes assisting primary producers and businesses recover from extreme damage,” Minister Ludwig said.
“We will stand shoulder to shoulder with Queenslanders as they recover from this latest disaster,” Minister Ludwig said.
Minister Ludwig said the Australian Government had acted quickly to respond to the Queensland Government’s request for Clean-Up and Recovery Grants, approving them for 14 Local Government areas shortly after the flooding.
“We have again responded quickly to Queensland’s request for greater assistance, and we remain committed to helping Queensland recover,” he said.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Newman Government was committed to working with the Federal Government to secure further assistance for storm and flood affected areas.
“These substantial loans will allow primary producers and businesses to get on with the job of rebuilding following this disaster.
“The two-year interest free period and the ensuing concessional rate of 1.7% is an acknowledgment of the considerable impact these disasters have had on primary producers and business owners in many parts of the state.
"The Newman Government understands the hard work in recovering after this event has only just begun and we are continuing to negotiate with the Federal Government to secure a dedicated betterment fund, dedicated flood mitigation and appropriate engineering standards for the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.
Queensland minister for agriculture John McVeigh, who has visited flood-affected producers over the past three weeks, said many were desperately in need of the additional support, particularly those in the Wide Bay-Burnett and Lockyer Valley areas.
“This latest package of support measures will help those who have been hardest hit and badly need our assistance in getting their operations up and running again.”
Forms for the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme loan package will soon be available at www.qraa.qld.gov.au
For more information about the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946.
1 – applies to area of the Banana Shire Council that is West of the Callide and Auburn Ranges; and East of the Banana and Cooper Ranges and then east of the Baralaba-Rannes Road.
2 – applies to area of the Goondiwindi Regional Council that is West of the Yelarbon-Keetah Road, Merton Road, Kelmans Road, Wyaga Road, the Gore Highway, Yagaburne-Boondandilla Road, and the eastern boundary of lots 4 and 5 on PG97; and East of the Lapgate Road, Bungunya-Alton Road, North Aranyi Road, the eastern boundary of lot 12 on CVN221, North Talwood Road, Talwood-Mungindi Road.
3 – applies to area of the Ipswich City Council defined as Division 10.
4 – applies to area of the Somerset Regional Council South of the D'Aguilar Highway.
5 – applies to area of the Southern Downs Regional Council that is East of Keoghs Road, Old Stanthorpe Road and the New England Highway to where it joins the Cunningham Highway; North of the Cunningham Highway and east of the Warwick Pratton Road.
6 – applies to the area of the Toowoomba Regional Council that is the area south and east of the Gatton-Clifton Road, the Greenmount-Hirstville Road, the Nobby Connection Road, the New England Highway, the Felton-Clifton Road, the Back Plains Road, the Doolan Road, and the Clifton-Pittsworth Road.