Peak representative body for horticulture, Growcom has today welcomed the activation of special disaster assistance recovery grants for primary producers affected by flooding in Queensland’s north.

In addition, Growcom also welcomes the increase in disaster assistance from $25,000 to $75,000.

Growcom CEO, David Thomson said Mother Nature has once again bared her teeth with yet another major natural disaster affecting horticultural growing regions in Queensland’s north.

“While the full extent of damage will not be quantified for some time, we’ve had reports of significant crop and property damage in areas such as Rollingstone, Home Hill, Giru, Inkerman and Bowen,” Mr Thomson said.

“Our members are also reporting issues with soil erosion, loss of top soil and planting may be delayed in some areas.”

Mr Thomson said the State and Federal Governments should be commended for acting swiftly to activate natural disaster assistance.

“A further urgent priority is for governments to mobilise funds to support Industry Recovery and Resilience Officers (IRROs) in affected regions,” Mr Thomson said.

“Following previous disaster events, IRROs have proven to be invaluable helping with strategic, long-term farm recovery that ensures farm businesses recover faster, stronger and are better prepared for future events.”

Growcom will continue to work with affected growers this week to develop preliminary impact assessments in order to brief the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“This information is essential for us to advocate for assistance where it is needed and we urge growers affected to please fill in the online form via the Growcom website,” Mr Thomson said.

“We also recommend growers take photographs of all major infrastructure, equipment and crops for insurance purposes and to help with the application process for disaster assistance.

“We understand the recovery process can be a long one and our thoughts are with everyone impacted.”

To access the online Growcom Damage Estimate form: www.growcom.com.au/damage-estimate

Further information on disaster declarations and available assistance can be found via the Queensland Farmers’ Federation Farmer Disaster Support website: www.farmerdisastersupport.org.au