Millions left in QLD flood fund
Less than a quarter of the Federal Government's $300 million flood recovery grant scheme has been claimed.
Massive flooding in February 2019 dumped two years worth of rain in a matter of days in North Queensland, causing billions of dollars in losses.
The Commonwealth set up the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency and appointed former Northern Territory chief minister Shane Stone as coordinator to distribute funds to affected communities and farmers.
But only $66 million worth of grants have been claimed so far.
“They have not been embraced as enthusiastically as we expected,” Mr Stone told reporters this week.
The fund offers grants of up to $400,000 in co-funding for re-stocking and damage repairs.
“There's real problems associated with the dollar-for-dollar proposition. People say; ‘Well we just don't have the money to match the money’,” Mr Stone said.
He said some farmers are opposed to what they see as a government ‘handout’.
“I keep making the point it's not a handout, it's a hand-up, it's intended to get you back in business because that's in the national interest,” he said.
The grants have been extended to June 30, 2022.