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Brisbane 7 May 2013. Landholders in areas hard-hit by flooding caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald will benefit from a new $10 million dollar support package announced by the Newman Government today.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, detailed the funding at Trevor and Gail Garrad’s cane farming property south of Bundaberg today, an area facing severe land management challenges due to vegetation loss and erosion because of January’s record flooding.

Mr Cripps said the Queensland Government’s contribution matches federal government funds provided under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

“This $20 million on-farm productivity and riparian recovery program will deliver practical on-ground solutions to repair damage and better prepare primary producers for future flood events,” Mr Cripps said.

“It will support primary producers and community projects in the hardest-hit regions, particularly the Bundaberg, North Burnett, Fassifern and Lockyer Valley areas.

“Many in these areas were still recovering from the severe flood and storm events of early 2011 when they were hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in January 2013.”

Examples of the types of projects that would be considered for funding include:

·         advice on weed control to help recovery of pastures destroyed by flood and aquatic weeds

·         repairing and restoring fencing and other farm infrastructure, removing excessive or dangerous debris, particularly those threatening the local or downstream environment or
infrastructure

·         advice on rehabilitating or reconfiguring cropping or grazing lands, on farm soil conservation, gully and contour banks design and water management

·         removal of flood waste

·         building understanding and capacity about managing water among landowners

·         improving flood and vegetation mapping at regional, local and property levels

·         advice on rebuilding farm roads to reduce the likelihood of soil loss and impact on fisheries

·         repairing, stabilising and rehabilitating flood damaged riparian areas.

Mr Cripps said the program will be led by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, with the assistance of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“Queensland’s network of community-based regional natural resource management groups will manage funding applications and coordinate projects,” he said.

“Groups involved will include the Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management, Condamine Alliance, Fitzroy Basin Association, Queensland Murray-Darling Committee, and South East Queensland Catchments.

“Priority on-ground actions are expected to commence in the near future and the program is expected to be completed by mid-2015.”

CEO of the Burnett Mary Regional Group, Penny Hall, congratulated the Newman Government.

“It will enable us to support primary producers in their battle to recover from flood impacts, help restore productive agricultural land, and enhance the stability and resilience of our major river systems and flood plains,” Mrs Hall said.

“The BMRG will work with expert advisers, industry groups, regional councils, community groups, volunteers and contractors to help the region recover and move on.”

Further information is available at: www.dnrm.qld.gov.au

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