Primary producers impacted by the bushfire emergency will receive thousands in aid as part of the federal government’s $2 billion relief package.
Primary producers, including farmers, fishers, and foresters, will be able to access grants of up to $75,000 under the plan. The package matches that which was provided in response to the North Queensland floods, which had similar impacts on primary producers.
“This is crucial, rebuilding immediate recovery support that is absolutely critical to enable these primary producers, these farmers, these graziers to be able to get through this first hurdle, to get over this first hump so they can be able to put themselves into a position to be able to start planning for their future,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press conference in Canberra.
“It’s this $75,000 support we estimate, and assign some $100 million out of the recovery fund to support this,” he said.
Mr Morrison said that the $100 million figure was an estimate, not a cap, and that the program would be demand driven. The money will likely be used to remove the carcasses of animals killed by the fires, as well as repair damage to infrastructure and equipment.
“I would stress that these payments will also provide welcome economic injection into these rural communities,” Mr Morrison said.
“This will be very important for those small businesses in those towns as well, to see people coming into their towns doing this work and really putting some important oompf into the local economy by getting these payments out. This is what we also saw up in North Queensland in the response we did there.”
Mr Morrison does not believe that the $2 billion initiative will heavily impact the budget surplus, but claims the surplus is not a focus at this time.
“I’ve made it really clear that my focus is on delivering the recovery and the support and what is needed now and paying the price and the costs that are needed to be met here and now and over the next, at least, the next two years and the impact on that budget will be very clear,” Mr Morrison said.