By QDO President Brian Tessmann
After experiencing a very dry August and September, the significant rainfall over South and Central Queensland has been a welcome change. As is often the case with weather, however, you can get too much of a good thing, which is the current sentiment of many dairy farmers.
The recent rainfall in the North Burnett and Wide Bay regions delivered severe flooding, not only inflicting structural damage but also leaving dairy farms with a critical feed shortage situation. QDO has been active in supporting its members and the State Government has agreed to activate Category B assistance for primary producers in the North Burnett, Bundaberg and Gladstone Regions. This assistance entitles farmers access to 50 per cent freight subsidy which can be used to fix fences as well as moving fodder. Access to concessional loans of 1.16% for recovery are also available to affected farmers. More information is available at Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority’s (QRIDA) website: www.qrida.qld.gov.au
Farmers in Category B regions can also access freight subsidies of up to 50% for brought-in grain and fodder. More information can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) website: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/
QDO will continue to advocate for Category C assistance for its members in North Burnett and Wide Bay. These applications are being progressed as Government waits to determine the cumulative damage from each region. QDO in conjunction with Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) is gathering damage estimates to assist DAF with this process.
Over most areas of Queensland, the rain has significantly increased this season’s potential, particularly when compared to the dry heat of last summer. It is important, however, that Government also helps farmers who have weathered through a run of floods and suffered damage to their infrastructure and feed supply, so they can continue to produce milk and stay in the industry.