La Nina has again made itself felt this season, whipping up Tropical Cyclone Seth and causing significant flooding and damage in the Wide Bay - Burnett region. This is on top of the widespread flooding across central, southern and western Queensland in November. Meanwhile, farmers in the northwest continue to operate under drought declarations. As floodwaters recede, Queensland farmers have begun the difficult recovery process with which many are all too familiar. The Queensland and Australian governments have responded quickly by activating Category C assistance to help farmers get back on their feet through the jointly funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Impacted farmers in the Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gympie, North and South Burnett, Banana, Goondiwindi, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Southern and Western Downs, and Toowoomba local government areas are eligible for grants of up to $50,000. The grants may be used to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace fencing and other costs associated with the recovery process. This assistance is in addition to the freight subsidies and concessional loans that are already available. We encourage farmers beginning the rebuilding process to apply for the grants through Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority online or by calling 1800 623 946.
We know that natural disasters are part of the landscape in Queensland, but having years of hard work wiped out in minutes or hours is stressful and disruptive for farmers. For many businesses, the rebuilding phase can be overwhelming and many farmers ask if the risks are worthwhile.
With that in mind, the Farm Business Resilience Plan Program, jointly funded through the Australian and Queensland Governments, and delivered by QFF and its members among others, aims to build the strategic management capacity of farmers and graziers to prepare for, and manage business risks. This includes weather risks and identifying priority risks and management processes can provide a pathway to improve productivity, land management and climate variability. Improving resilience and business continuity will ensure farmers can get back to doing what they do best sooner, producing world class food, fibre and foliage.
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