CATTLE Australia is urging the Queensland and Federal governments to ensure producers hit by recent monsoonal flooding in the Gulf of Carpentaria get the support they need.
Heavy rain has hit the headwaters of the Leichardt River catchment early last week, sending record floods through the catchment, inundating homesteads and towns.
Cattle Australia Chair, David Foote said many affected producers would need all the help they can get to recover after the natural disaster.
“The scale of these floods is unprecedented, with property after property underwater, as far as the eye can see,” Mr Foote said.
“Indeed some of the producers hit by the record flooding were still recovering after monsoonal floods in 2019.
“In recognising the hardship and heartache the current flood and monsoonal rain events are having on producers in Queensland’s north-west, Cattle Australia is calling on those Federal and State government agencies to enact their support and assistance programs to producers and the wider community now and continue long after the water has subsided until recovery is achieved.
“Further we ask those companies that provide fuel for generators and helicopters, fresh food and groceries, hay, stockfeed, pet food, supplements etc to prioritise delivery despite the hardships and limited access and to consider extended credit terms while lives and businesses are rebuilt.
“As the district begins to recover, we would ask those banks and insurance companies to maintain compassion and personal contact with clients and those families needing their help and understanding to speed up recovery.
“We thank the Burke Shire Council, local volunteers such as the SES and local communities for their tireless efforts to date in assisting those affected.”
We look forward to the rolling out of the Federal and State governments assistance and recovery plans via the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
“The State and Federal governments are providing grants of up to $900 to help those hit hardest pay for food clothing and shelter over the coming days,” Mr Foote said.
“Concessional loans of up to $250 thousand are also available to help repair and replace damaged buildings, equipment or livestock, and up to $100 thousand for working capital to continue doing business.
“We particularly call on urgent action and committed support from the major telecommunications providers, including Telstra, Optus and NBN Co to urgently repair their networks and restore services. Reliable communication services across this vast and remote area particularly during emergencies are critical.
“After the 2019 floods, government grants of up to $400 thousand were made available which instantly boosted morale and sped up recovery efforts.
“We are urging the Government to make these grants available again for producers affected by these floods and earlier flooding in WA’s Kimberley Region.
“Cattle Australia urges all levels of Government to maintain support beyond the flood itself and make sure local infrastructure is restored and our regional communities are rebuilt.
“Cattle Australia remains committed to stand by our producers, and we will keep pushing governments to ensure assistance is available to speed up the recovery.”
Source: Cattle Australia