The Australian Banana Growers' Council has welcomed the first steps towards recovery assistance for cyclone-smashed banana farms in the Innisfail region. Still, it is calling for specific measures to be activated.
After inspecting the aftermath and speaking with farmers on the ground near Innisfail last week, opposition leader David Crisafulli said the situation was dire with labour shortages compounding the problem: "These farmers want short-term help, while in the long term they want an end to the issues with workers. They're not asking for any special treatment."
Queensland and federal governments have made the first steps to activate Disaster Recovery Assistance for banana growers affected by last week's cyclone, but according to ABGC, low interest loans were unlikely to be taken up by most impacted growers.
Instead, they are looking for Special Disaster Assistance Recovery grants, up to $25,000, to assist growers with cyclone clean-up costs and to assist in getting crops back into production.
Queenslandcountrylife.com.au explains that, in order to activate recovery grants, the Queensland Premier must formally put a case to the Prime Minister for approval.
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