Maryborough's Greg Sears watched the creeping waters of the Mary River rise again to cover his 8 acres of cane and farm equipment sheds during the floods earlier in the year.
Maryborough's Greg Sears watched the creeping waters of the Mary River rise again to cover his 8 acres of cane and farm equipment sheds during the floods earlier in the year. Karleila Thomsen

Farmers risk losing flood funding ahead of looming deadline

FARMERS are at risk of losing government flood grants because they cannot find contractors before an August 30 deadline to spend the money.

The Fraser Coast Council area is one of 21 local government areas in Queensland eligible for direct disaster relief following ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in January.

Hundreds of farms were inundated by floodwater, with pastures left unusable, fences washed away and roads left severely damaged.

Biggenden farmer Malcolm Beresford said for those farmers who had accessed the flood relief grants, it had been too hard to find contractors who would travel to do the work.

"It is practically impossible to get contractors," he said.

Mr Beresford said grants administered by the QRAA carried the August 30 deadline.

He said the primary industry was now in the dark on whether the deadline would be extended, as the grants are jointly funded by the State and Federal governments.

Mr Beresford said farmers faced expenses in the past six months, almost four times what they normally would as they worked to repair fences and pastures.

He said a slump in the cattle market due to drought conditions in the western Queensland had also heavily impacted on Wide Bay's cattle industry.

"There will be a marked impact on revenue," he said.

The office of the Minister for Community Recovery could not respond to questions from the Chronicle before deadline on Wednesday.
 



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