As Queensland farmers begin the recovery process following widespread flooding in the north of the state, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) has renewed calls for a ‘shovel ready’ agriculture recovery program to provide immediate on farm assistance to those affected.
Governments have reacted quickly to this unprecedented flooding disaster with support through the jointly funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) already announced. While funding, including loans, freight subsidies and recovery grants were welcome, farmers needed more immediate and targeted support.
QFF President Stuart Armitage said the sector had been calling for a change to the recovery process, with a ‘shovel ready’ agricultural recovery program deploying Industry Recovery and Resilient Officers (IRROs) immediately after a natural disaster to provide the support and technical advice needed to improve the recovery process.
“We are grateful for the $75,000 on offer to help the recovery process, but the damage caused by this event will require more than just money, and the on farm problems farmers face differ across industries,’’ Mr Armitage said.
“If the government acted quickly, they could utilise the Industry Recovery and Resilience Officers already in place from Cyclone Debbie recovery before this funding stops and the capacity is lost.”
“These officers are proven to help with strategic, long-term farm recovery that ensures farmers recover faster, stronger and are better prepared for future events.”
“Natural disasters are part and parcel of farming in Queensland, so it is essential that we learn from each weather event and ensure recovery processes and resilience across our sector continue to improve.”