KAP secures vital support for forgotten flood victims

In what can only be described as a win for fairness, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) has successfully demanded disaster relief for flooded primary producers and small businesses in the Charters Towers Regional Council and Etheridge Shire Council areas.

KAP State Leader Robbie Katter, who lobbied for the activation for Category C assistance for these areas following the
January/February North West Floods, said the news today that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s had requested the support from the Federal Government was a relief and a great win for equity and fairness.

Mr Katter, alongside Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, had called for this funding to be made available to those forgotten by the State and Commonwealth’s traditional disaster relief framework.

The framework’s rigid guidelines discounted dozens of devastated landholders not due to their lack of need, but due to arbitrary boundary lines on a map that declared their shires were not adequately impacted by the crisis.

This is despite many of these graziers, mostly located in isolated pockets of their shires that experienced unprecedented rainfall, racking up damage bills of upto $150,000 in lost livestock, water infrastructure, pumps, machinery, roads and fencing.

“On this issue we had many meetings, phone calls and letters with both the State and Federal Government, interviews with media, and discussions with QRIDA and the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency,” he said.

“Everyone could see the sense in our argument but no one was willing to stick their neck out to help – it felt like fighting a losing battle but it seems someone was listening.”

Mr Katter said he would like to thank Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Federal Government for finally seeing sense on this issue and approving the much-needed support.

The activation of Category C assistance for the Charters Towers Regional Council and Etheridge Shire Council areas will make available one-off grants of upto $75,000 to eligible primary producers and $50,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits.

The closing date for application of these grants for all flood-affected shires has been extended to 28 February, 2019.

For information on grants contact the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 or visit
www.qrida.qld.gov.au

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