MP calls for $15,000 grants to help flood-hit farmers

Clarence Valley farmers move cattle to higher ground near Gilletts Ridge.
Clarence Valley farmers move cattle to higher ground near Gilletts Ridge. Jojo Newby

THE Federal Government has been urged to provide one-off grants of $15,000 to primary producers on the New South Wales North Coast whose crops have been devastated by flooding.

Federal Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Luke Hartsuyker said he had been in contact with a number of Lower Clarence cane growers and some had lost their third crop in recent years.

"In the past four years there have been three summer floods which are the most destructive to sugar cane crops. Farmers have worn the cost of planting the crop but have received no financial return.

"There are other farmers who have planted soy beans as part of their crop rotation and those crops have also been destroyed. On the Coffs Coast there are also banana growers and other primary producers who have been impacted by recent weather events.

"In the past the Federal Government has made available $15,000 grants to assist primary producers and small businesses get back on their feet.

"I believe that grant should be made available to those affected by this flood."

Mr Hartsuyker said the impact on primary producers would be felt right through local communities.

"In many parts of the North Coast farm production is the lifeblood of the local community," he said.

"The devastation of these crops will therefore not only be felt by farmers but it will impact on the local business community.

"I have written to the Prime Minister on this matter highlighting the impact of this flood event has had on North Coast primary producers.

"I have asked the Prime Minister to make the $15,000 grants available to assist with the recovery and ensure farmers are not forced from their land and are able to plant another crop."

Topics:  flood flood recovery natural disaster relief oswald

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