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

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

This includes:

  • Over $59 million has been paid to 1028 primary producers in Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants (up to $75,000 per eligible primary producer).
  • $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.
  • Almost $5.5 million has been paid to 441 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 organisation)
  • 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).
  • $121 million in Category C and D assistance to be paid to the Queensland Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, for a 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:

May 2019

  • 16 May – Cloncurry, Queensland – NQLIRA staff, along with Board members David Galvin and Greg Campbell, and representatives from NQLIRA, Queensland Rural & Industries Development Authority and Rural Financial Counselling Service North Queensland (RFCSNQ), hosted an information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood.
  • 15 May – Ingham, Queensland – CEO Shane Stone met with Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor and Councillors. Also met with local representatives of sugar cane farmers’ peak body Canegrowers and visited local sugarcane properties to view flood damage to crops and on-farm infrastructure. A community information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers was also held.
  • 15 May – Richmond, Queensland – NQLIRA staff, along with Board member David Galvin and representatives from QRIDA and RFCSNQ, hosted an information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood.
  • 15 May – Winton, Queensland – NQLIRA staff, along with Board member Don Heatley and representatives from QRIDA and RFCSNQ, hosted an information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood.
  • 15 May – Julia Creek, Queensland – NQLIRA staff, along with Board members David Galvin and Greg Campbell and representatives from QRIDA and RFCSNQ, hosted an information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood.
  • 14 May – Normanton, Queensland – NQLIRA staff, along with representatives from QRIDA and RFCSNQ, hosted an information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood. Staff also visited Karumba and Karumba Point with Carpentaria Shire Council’s Director of Engineering to gain an understanding of the impact of flooding on local infrastructure.
  • 14 May – Hughenden, Queensland – NQLIRA staff, along with Board member David Galvin and representatives from QRIDA, RFCSNQ and Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, hosted an information session about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood.  
  • 13 & 14 May – Mossman, Queensland – CEO Shane Stone along with Board member David Galvin, met with Deputy Mayor of Douglas Shire Council and senior Council staff. Also met with local representatives of the sugarcane farmers’ peak body Canegrowers and visited local sugarcane properties to view flood damage to crops and riverbanks. A community information session was held in Mossman where NQLIRA, QRIDA and RFCSNQ staff presented information about grants and other assistance available to primary producers impacted by flood. This visit included a meeting of the NQLIRA Advisory Board.

April 2019

  • 18 April – Cloncurry, Queensland – Met with Cloncurry Shire Mayor and Advisory Board Member Greg Campbell, and local primary producers.
  • 17 April – Karumba, Queensland – Visited Karumba Livestock Exports, to gain an understanding of the impact of flooding on the live export facility.
  • 16 April – Normanton, Queensland – Met with Mayor of Carpentaria Shire, senior Council staff, Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association President Chris Nott, Gulf Cattleman’s Association President Barry Hughes and Vice President Gary King.
  • 15 April – Four Ways, Queensland – Met with primary producers with properties in the regions of Mt Surprise, Richmond, Julia Creek, Charters Towers, Cloncurry and Normanton to gain an understanding of the damage and impact of flooding on business operations. 
  • 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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