The Australian Banana Growers’ Council is concerned about delays in allowing cyclone-affected farmers access to grants. These grants - of up to $75,000 - were announced by the Federal and State Governments on April 30 in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Niran. However, two months on, the application process has yet to open.
According to Jim Pekin, CEO of the Australian Banana Growers’ Council, more than 100 banana farms were damaged in the March 1 cyclone: “Among these are farm businesses on the Cassowary Coast that are literally banking on these grants for their cash flow.”
The ABGC welcomed the Queensland Government announcement to increase grants from $25,000 to $75,000 on April 30, believing it acknowledged the severity of the event and its impact on many growers.
“But it is incredible that the required regulation has not passed, which has meant that those who were counting on these funds are still waiting,” Pekin told abgc.org.au. “All we’re asking is for the State Government to follow through on its announcement so growers relying on these funds can get on with the task of rebuilding.”