Qld farming losses put at $100 million
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BRISBANE, Feb 1 AAP
February 01 2013, 1:11PM
Queensland farmers are facing losses of $100 million and urgently need government grants to get back on their feet, the Queensland Farmers' Federation says.
It says crop farmers are facing severe losses, particularly around flood-stricken Bundaberg.
The cotton industry has also been hit hard, and 50 per cent of farmers in the dairy and pork industries have been affected by the floods.
QFF chief executive Dan Galligan said government assistance so far was nowhere near enough given the scale of the damage across so many farming sectors.
The QFF has urged the federal government to immediately offer Category D assistance, which provides for large concessional loans and $50,000 grants to help with clean up and recovery costs.
"... It is now very clear that a further escalation of disaster assistance is needed to help communities clean up and recover from this massive flooding event," Mr Galligan said.
"The loss from these floods is devastating for many farmers.
"Without further assistance many farmers will not have the resources to repair and recover and the result will be a severe and prolonged economic impact on communities already battered by natural disasters."
In 2013, the damage to crops, livestock, and infrastructure is as bad as our previous disasters and in many cases this time it is significantly worse," Mr Galligan said.
"Agriculture is the main economic driver for many of these communities, and if the recovery measures are not implemented to their fullest then it will impact not just farmers, but entire communities."
Mr Galligan said jobs would be shed across farming sectors unless more help was offered.
He said a wage assistance scheme was needed, along with industry-specific liaison officers which greatly aided farmers in the wake of the 2010/11 floods and Cyclone Yasi.
"Full government support for the recovery efforts should not be delayed any longer."