North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency CEO the Hon Shane L Stone AC PGDK QC recently met with met with a number of charities that are supporting North West communities following the significant flooding that swept across the region earlier this year.
“Charities are an essential part of the recovery effort,” Mr Stone said.
Twelve days of continuous heavy rain in January and February resulted in a body of floodwater more than 15,000 square kilometres and over 700 kilometres long moving at speed, west of the Great Dividing Range. Combined with low temperatures and constant winds, the event led to devastating livestock losses - estimated at 600,000 - across an area larger than the size of Victoria.
“While the response from government and the not-for-profit sector in the immediate aftermath of the flood was swift, the job is far from done.”
The meeting was an excellent opportunity to share information and build networks, and to discuss ways for everyone to work together over the coming months and years.
“Impacts will continue to be felt over the next few years, particularly for primary producers and businesses that rely on them, and we all need to work together to get those communities back on their feet.”
“Our guiding principle is that solutions are locally-led, locally understood and locally implemented. This means spending a great deal of our time in the communities we’re here to help and working with the charities to connect them with people we know will benefit from their assistance.”
The North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency was announced on 1 March and reports directly to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The Agency provides strategic leadership and coordinates the Federal Government’s assistance efforts.
Overall, the Australian Government has committed more than $3.3 billion to the impacted regions.
Eligible primary producers have access to two grants – the $75,000 Special Disaster Recovery Grant, and $400,000 co-contribution Restocking, Replanting and On-Farm Infrastructure grant. Grants are also available for eligible small businesses and not-for-profits affected by the flooding.