Bushfire Assistance Extended for Southern Queensland Farmers and Councils
7 November 2023
The Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments have activated further relief measures for farmers and councils impacted by bushfires in southern Queensland.
Primary producers can now apply for concessional interest rate loans to help replace or repair assets that have been significantly damaged by a recognised disaster. This includes loss of significant income, to recover and return to viable operations.
Impacted primary producers can also apply for freight subsidies, to assist with the transport of livestock, fodder or water for livestock, along with building, fencing equipment or machinery to the primary producer’s home property.
The assistance is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for nine Local Government Areas:
Bundaberg Regional Council
Central Highlands Regional Council
Gladstone Regional Council
Maranoa Regional Council
North Burnett Regional Council
South Burnett Regional Council
Southern Downs Regional Council
Toowoomba Regional Council
Western Downs Regional Council
Help is also available for 13 Queensland councils to undertake Counter Disaster Operations like firefighting and recovery operations, aimed at protecting the general public and ensuring public health and safety.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments are pleased to be able to provide assistance to our farmers who have been hit hard by these fires right around southern Queensland.
“Both levels of Government have worked together to activate a range of emergency payments for impacted residents, and I’m pleased to see around $400,000 already landing in Queensland pockets," he said.
“The support for local councils also ensures the reimbursement of extraordinary costs associated with cleaning up and repairing essential public assets.”
Acting premier Steven Miles said local councils and first responders have done a remarkable job protecting their communities.
"We will continue to work closely with the Albanese Government as parts of southern Queensland, particularly primary producers, move from emergency response to recovery," he said.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Palaszczuk Government understands the significant impact the bushfires have had on rural communities and primary producers.
"These extra relief measures are available to help our primary producers address the impact and get back on their feet as quickly as possible," he said.
Local Government Areas currently activated for Counter Disaster Operations: Balonne Shire Council, Bundaberg Regional Council, Central Highlands Regional Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Gladstone Regional Council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Logan City Council, Maranoa Regional Council, North Burnett Regional Council, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council.
For more information about Primary Producer and Essential Working Capital Loans, contact the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 or visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au
For more information about freight subsidies, contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au
Additional information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au.