Three months this week since Tropical Cyclone Debbie took toll
THIS week marks three months since Cyclone Debbie ravaged parts of Queensland and Queensland Farmers Federation president Stuart Armitage said the recovery process had been difficult both emotionally and financially.
“It is heartening to see that 548 Queensland farmers have already received the natural disaster recovery grants, with a combined valued over $3.3 million,” Mr Armitage said.
“The QRAA should be commended for its positive engagement with affected farmers and the timely administration of available grants.
“But, it has been disappointing that the State Government hasn’t been as proactive as we would have liked.”
Mr Armitage said there were plenty of signs that the agricultural sector was making considerable progress moving ahead though.
“Most recovery processes and decisions are made in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, as farmers try to recover their business and restart production and farm operations,” Mr Armitage said.
“So investment in ‘betterment’ activities makes sense and will increase resilience within the sector.”
QFF is calling for the adoption of the ‘shovel ready’ agricultural recovery program that deploys industry recovery officers immediately after a natural disaster so they can provide support and technical advice.
“Another issue that needs a forward thinking, whole of government approach is the future of natural disaster relief and recovery arrangements,” Mr Armitage said.
“This is an expensive funding commitment for governments and it is evolving, as NDRRA funding continues to be tightened.”