An Innisfail banana grower has claimed that there is not enough government support after freak winds devastated the region's farms six weeks ago. Dianne Sciacca and her husband had 40 hectares of bananas wiped out by winds associated with Tropical Cyclone Niran. Another 1,200 hectares between Cairns and Silkwood were affected as well.
The Sciaccas were very disappointed when they received word that their business would only receive $25,000 in Category C disaster funding. This, while New South Wales flood victims being granted much more generous support.
"Why is losing 100 per cent [to storms] any less significant than someone losing 100 per cent in a flood?" Ms Sciacca asked. "None of it makes sense."
After being told that Deputy Premier Steven Miles was responsible for applying to the Commonwealth for extra disaster arrangements, Ms Sciacca spoke to representatives of federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. "I was advised it was definitely not a federal issue. It was a state issue," she told abc.net.au. "If the state asked for that same amount, it would be given."
Ms Sciacca said despite four calls made by the Australian Banana Growers Council (ABGC) to the Deputy Premier's office, she was advised ABGC staff had been unable to speak with anyone about the decision.
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