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Flood Victims Eligible for Relief Assistance

AUSTRALIA - Oyster farmers in New South Wales, Australia, who were victims of the devastating Manning River floods on 24-25 April are now eligible to apply for relief assistance.

The assistance comes under the Iemma Government’s Agricultural Natural Disaster Arrangements, Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, said.

"The floods resulted in more than $1.3 million in damage to farming properties in the Greater Taree City Council and Great Lakes Local Government Areas," Minister Macdonald said.

"The relief provides loans of up to $130,000 at 2.85 per cent per annum with a two year interest free period. The loans are for replacement/repairs to property and infrastructure, including damage to crops and pasture.

"More than 2,400 hectares of farming land felt the full brunt of the floods which resulted in damage to infrastructure, fencing and farming land.

"So far, about 50 landholders have reported 10 kilometres of fencing washed away, 15 kilometres of laneway washed away, 1300 hectares of pasture in need of re-sowing, 25,000 litres of milk lost, hay and silage washed away in floodwaters and 13 stock deaths.

" Minister Macdonald said a number of oyster farming operations had also reported damage.

"The worst hit oyster farming businesses are reporting damage in excess of $500,000," he said.

"Oyster farmers are eligible to apply for agricultural natural disaster relief because they are considered primary producers under the arrangements."