Govt cash grants not just yet

LOCAL farmers and small businesses are still waiting on funding help following the June floods.

Some primary producers were left out of pocket after lashing storms created widespread flooding across the region, with banana and blueberry growers across the Coffs Coast among the hardest hit.

Manjinder Bajwa, who works on his family farm off Bruxner Park Rd, reported extensive damage to plantations and property and said the June floods trumped the severity of the March 2009 floods.

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser wants the Federal Government to support the recommendation of the State Government to activate Category C assistance for primary producers and small businesses.

Under Category C of the Commonwealth/State government-funded natural disaster relief and recovery arrangements, eligible farmers and small business owners can apply for cash grants of up to $15,000 to help them clean up and recover from the floods.

“It is now nearly two weeks since the State Government activated Category C assistance and we are waiting for the Federal Government to respond,” Mr Fraser said.

“Until they do so, no grants can be paid.

“My office has been contacted by a number of primary producers from the Woolgoolga area who suffered a great deal of damage during the floods and are now struggling financially.”

He said these grants would greatly help them in the repair of their properties.

“I know my federal colleague, Luke Hartsuyker, the Member for Cowper, has been doing all he can to ensure the timely processing of this matter,” Mr Fraser said.

“I urge the Gillard Government to back the NSW Coalition Government’s recommendation to approve these grants as a matter of urgency.”

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