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Category D Assistance for Flood-affected Queensland Producers

18 February 2013

AUSTRALIA - The Federal and State Governments have announced a boost in assistance to Queensland primary producers and businesses that suffered extreme damage as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Concessional interest-rate loans of up to A$650,000, with grants of 25 per cent up to A$50,000, will be made available to primary producers and businesses that have suffered extreme damage, as part of the Federal and State Governments’ commitment to supporting Queensland.

These arrangements will be equally funded by both the Federal and State Governments.

This assistance is similar to the loans that were provided after the 2011 floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi. The first two years will be interest free, with no repayments required.

Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Gillard Government was boosting its support to provide more financial assistance to help primary producers and businesses.

“The Gillard Government is working to ensure Queensland gets back on its feet – that includes assisting primary producers and businesses recover from extreme damage,” Minister Ludwig said.

“These extra loans and grants are being made available to eligible primary producers and businesses in 14 local government areas, from Bundaberg shire in the north to Scenic Rim in the south.

“This extra assistance is being provided through Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, and will be delivered through the flood-impacted areas by QRAA.

“We will stand shoulder to shoulder with Queenslanders as they recover from this latest disaster,” Minister Ludwig said.

Minister Ludwig said the Australian Government had acted quickly to respond to the Queensland Government’s request for Clean-Up and Recovery Grants, approving them for 14 Local Government areas shortly after the flooding.

“We have again responded quickly to Queensland’s request for greater assistance, and we remain committed to helping Queensland recover,” he said.

“That commitment is reflected in the new National Partnership Agreement with the Queensland Government which extends the financial arrangements that were set in place after the 2010-11 disasters.

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Newman Government was committed to working with the Federal Government to secure further assistance for storm and flood affected areas.

"The Newman Government will continue to work with the Commonwealth to secure further Category D assistance to help the worst affected areas get back on track after ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald,” Mr Nicholls said.

“These substantial loans will allow primary producers and businesses to get on with the job of rebuilding following this disaster.

“The two-year interest free period and the ensuing concessional rate of 1.7 per cent is an acknowledgment of the considerable impact these disasters have had on primary producers and business owners in many parts of the state.

"The Newman Government understands the hard work in recovering after this event has only just begun and we are continuing to negotiate with the Federal Government to secure a dedicated betterment fund, dedicated flood mitigation and appropriate engineering standards for the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.

"Queensland is a great state with great opportunity and our Government remains committed to building a stronger and more resilient Queensland in the wake of this disaster.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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