Flood grants still up for grabs

The Burnett River at Gayndah broke its banks last July, swallowing surrounding foliage whole. Picture: Dael Giddins

Time is quickly running out for Burnett primary producers to share in hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding to repair damages caused by the devastating 2021-22 floods, the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority warns.

Out of the three flood assistance grants available to Burnett farmers, one pertaining to a flooding event between November and December 2021 will see its submission period close on Friday, 17 March.

Through the grant, ‘eligible primary producers’ in the South Burnett can apply for up to $50,000 in order to “hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace fencing and other costs associated with the recovery process,” according to QRIDA.

Two other grants, relating to ex-tropical cyclone Seth and the Februrary-April 2022 floods, have had their submission dates extended to 5 May and 9 June, respectively.

The grants, open to primary producers in both the South and North Burnett regions, can provide financial aid of up to $50,000 or $75,000, respectively.

“Even though we’re in the midst of this current disaster season, Queensland communities are still recovering from the impacts felt during 2021-22,” Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles, who is also the Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, said.

Mr Miles’ office estimates that the 2021-22 disaster season has incurred a recovery and reconstruction bill of over $4.2 billion across its 9 flooding events; of Queensland’s 77 local government areas, 66 were impacted.

Minister Miles has last month committed $31 million out of a $721 million Commonwealth and Queensland Government package to a QRA-led Flood Risk Management Program.

As part of the program, a total of 36 councils will receive funding for 127 projects, sharing in a total of $18.25 million to “improve flood resilience through flood studies, risk assessments and other special projects.”

“These flood studies, risk assessments and special projects will ensure local councils are better prepared heading forward,” Minister Miles said of the funding commitment.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, celebrated the announcement, saying the funding push will allow local governments across Queensland to bolster their defences against the devastating forces of nature.

“This funding enables councils to understand and mitigate flood risk through flood studies, risk assessments and management strategies,” Minister Watt explained.

“Optimising an area’s flood resilience requires knowing what will work best based on the available data and modelling, and we are pleased to deliver the tools councils need to make this happen.”

For further information on the QRIDA flooding grants, visit https://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/grants-rebates.