KATTER: MORE HELP NEEDED FOR FIRE-STRICKEN FARMERS
Nearly 3 million acres of savannah grazing land in North West Queensland have been burnt out in the past three weeks. Graziers are facing a triple whammy of no feed, quarantine for a bovine Johnes disease outbreak and trying to recover from the federal government’s live cattle export ban enacted last year. Calving cows are too weak to defend their new-born from being ravaged by dingoes and wild dogs. Meanwhile the nut cases of the RSPCA push to close all saleyards and in concert with Animals Australia and the WWF, have the only effective dingo poison, 1080, removed from use.
21 December, 2012
KAP Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter said the Newman Governments $100,000 donation to the Bendigo Bank appeal for fire-stricken stations in the Gulf was a good start, but the graziers needed more help than that.
We have farmers who are spending $20,000 a week to buy and truck in feed for their animals, and all theyre being offered is a $5,000 grant if they had the time, energy and effort to fill in the necessary paperwork, Mr Katter said.
The other offer of a $250,000 Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) loan is just an offer of more debt to an industry that already carries a huge burden of debt.
Mr Katter said if the area was declared a disaster, then the graziers would get more help.
It is patently a disaster with about 750,000 ha burnt, 20 properties affected and seven stations almost completely burnt out.
Station owners and workers are exhausted and its taking a huge emotional toll on them and their families.
The Newman Government needs to show some compassion with real, pragmatic help for these graziers.
Declare it a disaster area and give them some subsidies before its too late.
Mr Katter said one grazier told him, When were hit in the North we get nothing; its a massive process to go for a loan, and were looking for short-term relief with fodder for the cattle.
Mr Katter said he was prepared to donate $1000 to the appeal, but he wanted more help for the graziers from the government.