Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Disaster relief available for primary producers

    31/05/2005 12:00 AM

    Agriculture Minister Kim Chance is encouraging flood-hit primary producers in the Great Southern to seek assistance from State Natural Disaster Relief arrangements.

    Heavy rains between March 30 and April 2 resulted in severe local flooding between West Arthur, Katanning and Albany, with the death from exposure of more than 100,000 shorn sheep and the destruction of almost 70 per cent of the seed potato crop in the area.

    “The unusually heavy rains had a severe impact on the region,” Mr Chance said.

    “Through the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA), Western Australia has successfully asked for the event to be declared a Natural Disaster and this will bring considerable relief to WA primary producers.”

    The Minister said the Department of Agriculture was working with FESA to streamline the delivery of help to those who needed it.

    Assistance would be available to help with the recovery of communities whose social, financial and economic well-being had been severely affected by a natural disaster event.

    Mr Chance emphasised that the disaster relief was aimed at people who did not have the resources to provide for their own recovery.

    “While the State Government is pleased to have provided such funding, people must always be wary of natural events of this nature and ensure they have the right sort of insurance and planning in place,” he said.

    In addition to the support announced by the State Government on May 5, the Great Southern Flood Assistance Scheme is now able to offer interest subsidies on loans to assist recovery. This is a result of the confirmation by the Commonwealth on May 6 that the event qualifies under the Natural Disaster Relief arrangements.

    An interest subsidy will be available on loans made by Authorised Deposit Taking Institutions (ADTIs) to assist eligible farmers recover from the declared natural disaster. The subsidy is four per cent per annum on loans up to $150,000 for a maximum of 10 years.

    Guidelines and application forms for primary producers are available from the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Business Development Unit: contact Rodger Crossman on Freecall 1800 198 231 or (08) 9368 3872.

    Minister's office: 9213 6700