10th December 2019

    Author: Sonia Chalk

    As 2019 draws to a close, it’s hard to forget the devastation of the floods in North Queensland. Many people are still feeling the impact 10 months on.

    It was wonderful to see the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) extend the deadline on the Special Disaster Assistance Grants to ensure those impacted have additional time to apply.

    For many of our agribusiness clients, the flood has been followed by a crippling dry spell. Dealing with these two extremes has taken a lot of time and energy and for some producers, there’s simply been no time to apply for grants.

    Applications for the grants are now extended until 28 February 2020. A Special disaster grant for up to $75,000 is available for primary producers affected by the flooding in North and Far North Queensland between 25 January and 14 February 2019*.

    The grant is to aid in the burden of clean-up costs and reinstatement activities such as:

    • Repairing damaged fencing on property
    • Replacing livestock
    • Hiring equipment/materials to clean property
    • Removing debris/damaged goods
    • Paying additional wages to staff to aid with clean-up work.
    • Maintenance to essential plant or equipment
    • Purchasing feed for livestock

    It is available to those that meet the following criteria:

    • Are a Queensland primary producer;
    • Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and held one at the time of the disaster;
    • Have a primary production enterprise in flood affected area* that suffered direct damage from the event; and
    • Have carried on primary production after being affected by the event.

    There is also a grant for impacted small businesses with up to $50,000 available. It is broken down to:

    • An initial grant of up to $25,000 to assist with cleaning and reinstatement costs immediately following the event; and
    • A subsequent grant of up to $25,000 to assist with additional costs.

    In recent discussions with the State Government, we were surprised to hear that the take-up of these grants hasn’t been overwhelming.

    We’d encourage impacted business to consider applying for assistance while it is available or contact their trusted Advisor to assist.

    Applications must be lodged by 28 February 2020 for both grants, further information can be found on http://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/Disaster-recovery/special-disaster-assistance

    *QRIDA define disaster affected areas for the small business grant as: Charters Towers Regional Council, Cloncurry Shire Council, Etheridge Shire Council, Flinders Shire Council, McKinlay Shire Council, Richmond Shire Council and Townsville City Council. 

    * QRIDA defines disaster affected areas for primary producers as: Burdekin Shire Council, Burke Shire Council, Carpentaria Shire Council, Charters Towers Regional Council, Cloncurry Shire Council, Douglas Shire Council, Etheridge Shire Council, Flinders Shire Council, Hinchinbrook Shire Council, McKinlay Shire Council, Richmond Shire Council, Townsville City Council, Winton Shire Council.

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