2021 Eastern Australia Storms and Floods – updates from the Australian Government

Tropical Cyclone Niran and Associated Low Pressure System

Tuesday, March 9, 2021
North Queensland
News

25 February – 3 March 2021

As Tropical Cyclone Niran hovered off the North Queensland coast between late February and early March 2021, it caused extensive damage to infrastructure and crops and left tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power.

The Australian and Queensland Governments have activated Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for the event in the following Local Government Areas:

  • Burdekin Shire Council
  • Cairns Regional Council
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council
  • Hinchinbrook Shire Council
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council
  • Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council

These councils have reported impacts such as downed trees and power lines, extensive debris over road networks and damaged roads from flash flooding in an already sodden catchment.

More than 43,000 homes and businesses lost power when Tropical Cyclone Niran first made its presence felt off the coast of Cairns on Monday 1 March 2021.

The financial support provided under the DRFA will assist councils with the extensive clean-up efforts following the event so communities can get back on their feet sooner.

You can read more about what assistance is available under this activation on the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.

The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to ensure that the affected communities are well supported during this difficult time.

Supporting primary producers

Impacted primary producers in Cassowary Coast, Cairns, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands can access concessional loans of up to $250,000 to repair or replace damaged buildings or plant and equipment affected by the cyclone and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000.

In addition, freight subsidies of $5000 are available to assist with the costs of moving crops, livestock, fodder, and water, as well as other farm equipment.

For more information visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or free call 1800 623 946.

As primary producers start assessing the full extent of the damage and commence clean-up and repairs, the National Drought and Flood Agency is monitoring the situation. Through our Regional Recovery Officers, we’re feeding back to the Australian Government to ensure local recovery needs are understood and supported.

There are reports of substantial crop losses (in some cases, up to 100 percent) to the south of Cairns in the Cassowary Coast, Mareeba and Tablelands Local Government Areas. 

Banana crops appear to be the hardest hit, and cane, paw paw and other crops also appear to be damaged. 

Report your damage

  • The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is undertaking damage assessments to ascertain the full extent of losses –contact Peter Holden at the Mareeba research facility on 07 4017 0736 or email peter.holden@daf.qld.gov.au 
  • Growcom is also requesting that growers complete their natural disaster damage estimate form

Need assistance?

Significantly impacted farmers are encouraged to apply for financial assistance by completing an Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration.

Impacted primary producers in Cassowary Coast, Cairns, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands can access concessional loans of up to $250,000 to repair or replace damaged buildings or plant and equipment affected by the cyclone and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000.

For more information visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or free call 1800 623 946.

Freight subsidies of $5000 are available to assist with the costs of moving crops, livestock, fodder, and water, as well as other farm equipment. For more information visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or free call 1800 623 946.

Your Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) officers are:

Your local Regional Recovery Officers are: