North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency

The initiative

The North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency (NQLIRA) was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 1 March 2019 to assist with the immediate response, recovery and reconstruction efforts in support of North, Far North and Western Queensland communities affected by heavy rainfall and wide-spread flooding in early 2019.

The Agency represents the Government’s long-term commitment to rebuild the region long after the flood waters have receded.

The responsibilities of the NQLIRA are the following:

  • Lead the Commonwealth’s recovery and reconstruction activities in flood affected areas following the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough (25 January – 14 February 2019).
  • Work with stakeholders, develop and coordinate the delivery of a long-term plan for the recovery and reconstruction of these areas.
  • Advise the Prime Minister on how existing and new Commonwealth policies and programs can best contribute to recovery and reconstruction efforts.
  • Coordinate information so livestock producers and communities know the support available to them and how to access it.

Assistance for farmers, their families and rural communities 

Farmers, their families and their communities can access a range of government services and support as they recover and rebuild following the Monsoon Trough which devastated the North, Far North and Western Queensland regions in early 2019.

For information on the full range of assistance for farmers and their families, visit FarmHub.

This includes:

People are encouraged not to decide for themselves whether or not they’re eligible, but rather call the relevant department, visit their website, or speak to a Rural Financial Counsellor.

Someone to talk to

If you or someone you know is finding things a little tough due to the floods, please reach out via NQ Connect. 

NQ Connect is a free 24/7 phone and online flood support and mental health service.

Key Dates & Progress

Assistance provided to date

More than $3.3 billion has been paid or committed to assist people affected by this event with recovery and reconstruction.

This includes:

  • Over $52 million has been paid to 891 primary producers in Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants (up to $75,000 per eligible primary producer).
  • Over $4 million has been paid to 363 small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants (up to $50,000 per eligible small business or not-for-profit organisations).
  • $300 million for restocking, replanting and on-farm infrastructure grants (up to $400,000 per eligible primary producer) – these grants must be matched by a 50 per cent co-contribution.
  • Over $112 million has been paid to over 96,000 applicants under the Commonwealth’s Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance (as at 30 April 2019).
  • $1 billion for concessional loans to affected primary producers at the government’s long-term bond rate, available through the Regional Investment Corporation.
  • $242 million for a long-term recovery package, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments – covers a wide range of initiatives, including helping small businesses to recover, mental health and wellbeing services, and future flood-preparedness measures.
  • $4 million for non-government and boarding schools with significant numbers of students from flood-affected areas.
  • $2.6 million to support the mental health of communities affected by the floods.

Meetings and community visits

When appointed to the position on 1 March 2019, Agency Head and Board Chair Shane Stone AC QC committed to visiting affected regions – along with members of the Advisory Board - to understand the impact of the weather event and the support people needed to recover and rebuild.

Below are details of these community visits and key stakeholder meetings:

April 2019

  • 9 & 10 April – Winton, Queensland – Along with Board Members Don Heatley and David Galvin, visited local farms to gain an understanding of the extent of the local cattle losses. Met with Winton Shire Mayor and senior Council staff, and attended a community BBQ hosted by the Council and attended by about 50 community members.  This visit included a meeting of the NQLIRA Advisory Board.

March 2019

  • 29 March – Ayr, Queensland – Along with Board member Don Heatley, met with Mayor of Burdekin Shire. Also visited an achacha plantation to gain an understanding of the damage and long-term impact of flooding on business operations. 
  • 28 March – Charters Towers, Queensland - Along with Board member Don Heatley, met with Mayor of Charters Towers and primary producers. Also visited a local farm to gain an understanding of the damage and long-term impact of flooding on business operations. 
  • 27 March – Hughenden, Queensland - Along with Board member Don Heatley, met with Deputy Mayor of Flinders Shire, Council Recovery Team, Rural Financial Counselling Service, primary producers and small business owners.
  • 27 March - Richmond, Queensland - Along with Board member Don Heatley, met with Mayor of Richmond Shire.
  • 15 March – McKinlay and Julia Creek, Queensland – Along with Board member Tracey Hayes, met with the Mayor of McKinlay Shire, local farmers and a representative from the Gulf Cattlemen’s Association and Northern Producers Response Committee.
  • 14 March – Cloncurry, Queensland – Along with Board member Tracey Hayes, met with Mayor of Cloncurry Shire, local farmers and representatives from local industry and AgForce. Also visited farms to gain an understanding of the damage caused by flooding. 
  • 12 March – Townsville, Queensland – Chaired the Inaugural Advisory Board meeting, where immediate priorities for the Board and Agency were set. Also met with Federal Member for Kennedy, the Hon Bob Katter MP.
  • 11 March – Townsville, Queensland – Met with Major-General Stuart Smith AO, DSC, Queensland State Disaster Recovery Coordinator and Brendan Moon, CEO of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority about coordinated State and Commonwealth recovery efforts.
  • 8 March – Brisbane, Queensland – Met with representatives of the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) and the Queensland Reconstruction Agency (QRA).
  • 6 & 7 March – Canberra, ACT – briefings with key agencies responsible for the immediate response and recovery efforts in North Queensland, including Emergency Management Australia (Department of Home Affairs) and the Rural Financial Counselling Service, and those that can provide useful information for long-term reconstruction effort, including the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia.
  • 1 March – Townsville, Queensland – Met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison following the announcement of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency.

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