DISASTER ASSISTANCE EXTENDED

Written on the 17 January 2011

DISASTER ASSISTANCE EXTENDED

PREMIER Anna Bligh today announced that flood assistance grants and concessional loans for primary producers and small businesses have now been extended to the Local Government Areas across the majority of Southern Queensland.

There are now 22 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and four partial LGAs in Queensland where primary producers and small businesses are eligible to receive grants of up to $25,000 for clean up and flood recovery.

Concessional loans of up to $250,000 have also been extended to small businesses and primary producers in five additional LGAs.

"The extent of this flooding is unprecedented and we want to help primary producers and small businesses get back up and running as soon as possible,” says Bligh.

"The newly declared areas include Brisbane City Council which has experienced flooding similar to or exceeding 1974 flood levels.

"Primary producers along the upper reaches of the Brisbane River have considerable fencing and infrastructure damage and many stock are isolated."

"Small businesses in many suburbs along the Brisbane River have been inundated and have stock losses and infrastructure damage.

"In the Fraser Coast and Gympie areas at least 20 small businesses and many cane and other crop producers along the Mary River have lost fences, dams and harvesting equipment.

"Large areas of the Balonne Shire Council have incurred significant damage including Balonne, Culgoa, Moonie and Narran flood plains.

"In particular there has been significant damage to farm infrastructure, ring tanks, irrigation pumps, farm machinery and extensive soil erosion.

Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) Category B concessional loans of up to $250,000 have been extended to:

• Brisbane City Council
• Fraser Coast Regional Council
• Gympie Regional Council
• Ipswich City Council
• Moreton Bay Regional Council

NDRRA Category C Special Assistance Flood grants of up to $25,000 have now been extended to small businesses and primary producers in the following council areas:

• Balonne Shire Council
• Brisbane City Council
• Fraser Coast Regional Council
• Gympie Regional Council
• Ipswich City Council
• Moreton Bay Regional Council
• Sunshine Coast Regional Council

The following partial Local Government areas have been extended Category C grants of up to $25,000:

• Gladstone Regional Council (Boyne River, Kolan River and Baffle Creek catchments)
• Goondiwindi Regional Council (west of Leichardt Highway)
• Maranoa Regional Council (south of the Condamine-Roma Road and the Dunkeld Rd to the Southern Road and east of the Southern Road to Woodburn Rd, and south of the Diliqui Rd to the Balonne Shire boundary)

"These funds will help with urgent fodder drops for stranded livestock, cleanup, removal of debris, repairing roads, fences and dams and other essential infrastructure,” says Bligh.

"This sort of targeted financial assistance will help primary producers and small businesses minimise their economic losses as they embark on the very difficult recovery period that lies ahead.”

The grants are also available for the Local Government areas of Banana, Barcaldine, Bundaberg, Somerset, Central Highlands, Cherbourg, Lockyer Valley, North Burnett, Rockhampton, Scenic Rim, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Toowoomba, Western Downs and Woorabinda and a defined portion of Isaac.

"For small business this assistance will help operators resume trading as soon as possible including establishment costs in temporary premises,” says Bligh.

"This assistance may also be extended to other areas once the full impact of the floods in each area can be properly assessed as this natural disaster continues to unfold.”


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