25 September 2023

New Agency to relieve Queensland farmers

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A new Commonwealth Agency is to be established to help North Queensland’s farmers recover from the recent disastrous floods.

The North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency will develop a long-term plan to rebuild the livestock industry, including new funding programs to help with restocking herds and rebuilding farm infrastructure.

The Agency will be led by former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Shane Stone who will be supported by an advisory board that will include representatives of the northern cattle industry and Local Governments.

It will provide advice to the Prime Minister on how existing and new Commonwealth policies and programs can best contribute to the reconstruction.

Announcing the Agency, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison said he had met families who had been on the land for generations.

“We will help them and North Queensland rebuild, farm-by-farm, station-by-station,” Mr Morrison said.

“Each farm is different and will need different assistance to rebuild.

“This is not about compensation. It’s about rebuilding and reconstruction.”

He said the new Agency would assist in the design of programs to help with seed funding for fixing on-farm infrastructure like fences and water infrastructure and for restocking.

“We are also changing the mandate of the Regional Investment Corporation to allow it to develop concessional loan products for farmers,” Mr Morrison said.

“This will see farmers refinance existing debt as well as gain access to loans for restocking,” he said.

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