Deadline to apply for disaster relief grants extended

A DEADLINE to apply for disaster relief grants and loans has been extended for farmers and businesses struggling to employ contractors to repair flood damage.

Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh said recipients would now have until November 29 to apply.

The Chronicle reported last week farmers across the Fraser Coast had not been able to find contractors to repair flood damage before the original August 30 deadline and risked losing the relief money.

Boompa farmer Malcolm Beresford said the primary industry was in the dark on whether the deadline would be extended.

"It is practically impossible to get contractors," he said.

Mr McArdle said on Friday the decision to extend the deadline would apply to both Category C and Category D grants and loans.

"The eligibility period was due to end on 30 August, but the Newman government saw a need to give producers and small businesses more time to find suitable contractors and finalise their applications."

The Fraser Coast Council area is one of 21 local government areas in Queensland eligible for direct disaster relief following ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in January.

The State Government has also signed on for the federal Farm Finance debt restructuring package.

Eligible farmers in Queensland will be able to access a pool of $60 million over two years.

The terms of eligibility have not been announced.

  • Category C relief includes grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses and primary producers directly impacted by flood damage.
  • Category D relief includes loans of up to $650,000 with a 1.7% interest rate on repayments.