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Flood relief assistance extended to Somerset Region

by Sam Nichols4 minute read

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Queensland and federal government-funded grants of up to $50,000 are now available for impacted primary producers based in the LGA.

Residents based in the South-East Queensland region of Somerset impacted by the floods that hit the state over November and December last year are now eligible to receive disaster recovery grants valued up to $50,000, alongside low-interest loans valued up to $250,000. 

The grants, which are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) initiative, are available for “eligible primary producers” and are intended to assist in funding the repairs associated with the floods. 

Federal Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, senator Bridget McKenzie, said on the Somerset inclusion that she’s personally aware of the impact floods can have on primary producers. 

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“I know from visiting one of the regions in New South Wales that was affected by the same storm event in late December last year just how devastating these floods have been for primary producers. I saw first-hand the damage caused to what we know would have been a bumper crop,” Ms Mckenzie said.  

“Primary producers in Somerset have similarly suffered extensive damage to crops, fencing and infrastructure, so it’s crucial we extend the assistance we’ve provided across Queensland and New South Wales to help these hard-working farmers with their recovery process.” 

The minister added that other Queensland regions have also experienced “significant riverine flooding” and that this assistance has been extended to North Burnett, Gympie and Bundaberg to assist both local councils and state agencies in recovery. 

“With numerous roads flooded or damaged by floodwaters across Bundaberg, Gympie and North Burnett, it’s imperative disaster assistance is available to repair the damage in these regions,” Ms McKenzie concluded. 

Queensland Deputy Premier and minister Steven Miles noted that the Queensland and federal governments are working together to “ascertain exactly what assistance is needed and where” as more councils come forward with reports of damage from last year, some of which being compounded by the floods from earlier this month.  

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has gathered information on the effects on producers in Somerset and they are considerable, and damage to roads only exacerbates supply issues at a time when COVID-19 is really hitting availability,” Mr Miles said. 

“I am pleased to also announce that freight subsidies of up to $5,000 are also available to help these producers overcome these difficulties and send their crops and stock to market.

“These grants, loans and freight subsidies are a great step in helping communities get supply chains moving again.”

[Related: NAB, Westpac roll out flood relief packages]

Flood relief assistance extended to Somerset Region
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Sam Nichols

AUTHOR

Sam Nichols is a journalist at The Adviser and Mortgage Business. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including ABC News, SBS' The Feed, and VICE.