Waiting for help

By Country News on September 10, 2017
  • Waiting for help

    More than $2million in agricultural recovery assistance promised to Queensland farmers affected by Cyclone Debbie has yet to be delivered.

More than $2million in agricultural recovery assistance promised to Queensland farmers affected by Cyclone Debbie has yet to be delivered.

It’s been five months since the state was smashed by the category four cyclone and while some relief funds have come through, the $2.1million earmarked for agriculture has been caught up in red tape, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation says.

‘‘The recovery process has been very slow,’’ QFF president Stuart Armitage said.

‘‘The quicker you get assistance on the ground the better the recovery results.’’

It wasn’t until eight months after 2015’s Cyclone Marcia that similar funding arrived and Mr Armitage has called for an improved industry recovery program.

‘‘Unfortunately, the shortcomings within the current disaster recovery system are not new and past learnings have not been heeded,’’ he said.

The QFF wants a program under which assistance can be on the ground as soon as possible, not which requires state and federal governments to wade through ‘‘processes and negotiations,’’ Mr Armitage said.

‘‘This, coupled with a more strategic approach to natural disaster preparedness activities, would ensure farmers recover faster and become more resilient,’’ he said.

Heavy rainfall and flooding from Cyclone Debbie destroyed crops and caused the death of 12 people across Queensland and NSW, cut power to 270000 premises and left 900 homes uninhabitable.

By Country News on September 10, 2017

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