Queensland banana farmers whose plantations were damage by Tropical Cyclone Niran, on March 1, have cautiously welcomed the Queensland Government's latest move to increase assistance grants. In early March, some 1,200 hectares of banana crops were affected by the strong winds.
Since then, growers like Innisfail's Dianne Sciacca have been locked in a protracted dispute with the state over help offered to primary producers, especially following more generous support for New South Wales flood victims.
"It was 10 per cent of total growers, but we lost 100 per cent of our crop, [our argument was] why is that any less significant?" she told abc.net.au. "If you don't speak up you get forgotten, it's a simple as that."
Initially, farmers were offered $25,000 emergency grants under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), however last night a state government spokeswoman confirmed the premier requested an increase to $75,000, co-funded by the Commonwealth.
The Federal government previously advised growers it would confirm any upgrade to disaster assistance if the state premier applied for such increases.
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