The Queensland government has announced that $179,000 in land rent due on July 1 would be automatically deferred for seven months until December 1, to assist businesses and farmers in Goondiwindi affected by a severe rainfall event earlier this year.
According to Queensland resources minister Scott Stewart, 297 primary producers were eligible for the land rent deferral, which would be automatically enacted – meaning the farmers did not have to do anything to up the government assistance.
“Many primary production lease, licence and permit holders in this area are doing it tough financially and emotionally as they recover from property damage and loss of income,” Stewart said.
“Our farmers are vital to the Queensland and Australian economies, and we are doing everything we can to support landholders during this tough time.”
The town of Goondiwindi sits on the floodplains at the headwaters of the Murray Darling Basin and on the banks of the Macintyre river. A levee constructed in 1956 has kept the township relatively safe from extreme flooding events but experts warn that climate change means larger floods can be expected in future.
Mark Furner, agricultural industry development and fisheries, and rural communities minister said the assistance was designed to get farmers back on their feet.
“I visited this region not long after the floods and it was heartbreaking to hear the personal stories of farmers who represented generations of efforts on the land,” Furner said.
“Hopefully this deferral of land rent will mean it is one less thing they need to worry about.”
Those primary producers who continue to find themselves experiencing financial hardship after the December 1 deadline can apply for additional government assistance by making an online application.