FINANCIAL HELP FOR FLOOD-HIT SMALL BUSINESSES, PRIMARY PRODUCERS AND COMMUNITIES IN WIDE BAY

Financial support for flood-affected Wide Bay small businesses, farmers, not-for-profit organisations, and sporting and community clubs are available to assist them with clean up costs and recovery from the disaster, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said today.

“The February floods which hit Noosa, Gympie, South Burnett and Maryborough caused widespread damage to businesses, farms, and community and sporting groups,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This $558.5 million commitment, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, is both welcome and needed to help flood-affected communities get back on their feet.
The assistance package includes grants of: 

  • Up to $75,000 for primary producers
  • Up to $50,000 for affected small businesses and not-for-profit organisations;
  • $20,000 for sporting and community clubs and associations

This funding is available to support flood-affected organisations in the Fraser Coast, Gympie, South Burnett and Noosa council areas, and can be used for recovery activities including equipment purchases, materials and labour costs to assist in cleaning up; disposal of damaged goods; repairs to buildings other than housing; salvaging crops, grain and feeds; repairing or hiring equipment to enable resumption of business; and fencing repairs.

The Fraser Coast, Gympie, South Burnett, and Noosa Councils will also be helped through a $1 million injection each to assist with urgent clean-up works.

Mr O’Brien said the impacts of this major flood event will be felt throughout Wide Bay for months and years ahead.

“This was the biggest flood to hit Gympie since 1893 and the second flood to hit Wide Bay this year,” Mr O’Brien said.

“So many communities in Wide Bay have been hit extremely hard, with lives tragically lost; vehicles, crops and livestock swept away; roads ruined; homes and businesses inundated; and ongoing disruption to services including power and telecommunications.

“While we cannot replace everything that the floods have destroyed, this funding provides some support for our Wide Bay communities and primary producers at the time they need it most,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Further to this, for individuals who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury, the Australian Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment provides $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, and the Disaster Recovery Allowance provides up to 13 weeks income for sole traders or employees whose income has been affected.”

The payments are being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for eligible applicants in the 19 local government areas of Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

This DRFA assistance is in addition to assistance already available for cases of personal hardship, as well as for councils and agencies for counter disaster operations and the reconstruction of essential infrastructure.

Summary of extraordinary packages across affected 19 council areas:

  • $1 million each for 19 affected councils for immediate clean-up activities
  • $75,000 grants for affected primary producers (note – these grants are available in 17 local government areas activated for DRFA Category B primary producer assistance)
  • $50,000 grants for affected small businesses and not-for-profit organisations
  • $20,000 for sport and community clubs and associations.

For more information on grants for primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations, phone the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 or visit http://www.qrida.qld.gov.au.
Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au