News and Views

Cyclone Debbie batters Queensland farmers

Queensland farmers have started the painful process of assessing the initial impact of severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie after it crossed the north Queensland coast.

It is difficult to quantify the initial impact to the sector at this stage, but early reports point to extensive damage to sugar cane, fruit, vegetable, foliage and intensive animal industry producers.

Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) President Stuart Armitage noted that although the initial wind impacts of Cyclone Debbie have passed, the threat to farmers from localised and extensive flooding was far from over.

“The immediately affected region has felt the full brunt of a category 4 cyclone. Although it is early days, the region is worth over $1 billion to Queensland’s agricultural production value so it would be fair to assume that the damage will be at least hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Mr. Armitage.

“Contact with farmers continues to be difficult as many properties remain isolated by flood waters and communication channels via landline or mobile phone are inconsistent.”

“As the system moves inland and southward the expected high rainfall will most likely result in flooding in regions that were not initially impacted by the cyclone.”

“It is essential that farmers continue to monitor their local situations as flood warnings have been issued for coastal catchments between Gladstone in Queensland and Bellingen in northern New South Wales.”

“QFF is working closely with all agricultural industries and the Queensland and Federal Governments to assess the impact of Cyclone Debbie.”

“The collaborate effort will continue as the focus shifts towards recovery. QFF is committed to offering support and information to farmers from all industries in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.”

QFF will provide regular updates through the dedicated website in the coming weeks and months.

Support available:

Category B assistance under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) is now available.

Freight subsidies

  • Up to $5,000 per property to move materials, such as emergency fodder, restocking, building and fencing materials and machinery and equipment movement to assist in recovery. These freight subsidies are available through DAF.
  • Call DAF on 13 25 35

Natural Disaster Loans & Essential Working Capital Loans

  • Up to $250,000 are available through QRAA.
  • Call QRAA on 1800 623 946

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