Cyclone ravaged property
Cyclone ravaged property. Photo – Canva
  • The Queensland government has announced rent relief for 1,500 farmers
  • Cyclone Niran caused $300M damage in Australia and Pacific island countries
  • Meanwhile Cyclone Seroja smashed into WA over the past few days

With Cyclone Seroja smashing into the coast of Western Australia over the weekend, and the Premier describing the most affected town, Kalbarri, as a “war zone”, more than 1,500 primary producers in Queensland will soon receive land rent relief.

The announcement came from the Queensland Government following “severe” Tropical Cyclone Niran that hit north-eastern Australia last month. The storm caused more than A$300 million in damage in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Queensland.

More than $213,000 of land rent due in the next six months would be automatically deferred by the Palaszczuk Government, said Resources Minister Scott Stewart.

“[We] understand just how important our $60 billion food and fibre industry is to not only Queensland, but all of Australia, and we are doing everything we can to support landholders during this tough time,” Mr Stewart said, in a statement.

“Primary producers on leased state land in Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands areas won’t have to pay their land rent until 1 September 2021.

“Many primary production lease, licence and permit holders in these affected areas are doing it tough financially and emotionally as they recover from not only property damage, loss of income and businesses including crops and livestock, but also COVID-19.

Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart

“To make this process as easy as possible eligible landholders have had their rent automatically deferred, they don’t have to do anything further to take up this offer of assistance.

“This is practical assistance to help ease the financial burden on cyclone-affected leaseholders as they make the first steps on the road to recovery.”

Land rent relief applies to businesses, farmers and individuals that hold a lease, licence or permit to occupy for primary production purposes on state land.

Landholders still suffering hardship after this deferral period can seek further hardship assistance by applying online.

WA’s cyclone damage

Meanwhile, recent Cyclone Seroja has cut power for the midwest region of WA for days, ripping off roofs, flooding streets and uprooting trees.

More than half of Kalbarri’s buildings were damaged in one way or another. Kalbarri is a popular holiday town, with fantastic swimming, fishing, camping, walk trails and gorges.

Many holidaymakers had to leave town last Friday, before roads were closed, in what was peak season, being halfway through the Easter school holidays.

DFES Deputy Commissioner Craig Waters said local emergency services were working to restore power to around 30,000 properties.

Federal Emergency Services Minister David Littleproud said there was immediate federal government support available in the form of a disaster recovery payment of $400 per child and $1,000 per adult.

It’s unusual for a cyclone to make landfall this south in Western Australia, Mr Littleproud said.

The WA government said it would also kick in another $800 financial aid per family.

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