QUEENSLAND growers affected by the floods have called on the Federal Government to issue financial assistance immediately.Horticulture body Growcom today called on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard for an immediate introduction of Federal assistance, recognising the grave situation facing horticulture growers in the worst affected flood areas of Queensland.
Chief executive Alex Livingstone asked the Prime Minister to declare that NDRRA Category C support would be available immediately in horticulture areas such as Mundubbera/Gayndah, Bundaberg, Lockyer Valley, Fassifern Valley and Gympie where the damage was self-evident.
Normally a declaration under the NDRRA scheme requires data to be collected on the extent of damage from individual growers.
"We feel that it is insensitive to ring growers to ask them to provide damage estimates in order to be able to secure assistance when they are traumatised and still largely in a state of shock,'' Mr Livingstone said.
"In many cases, communications are still cut and it will be some time before we can collect accurate data on the impact.
"The speed and scale of this disaster require an equally speedy response.
"We ask the Prime Minister to make the process simpler and faster, and declare regional access to assistance without the need for red tape and paperwork. The obvious devastation in these areas should make a declaration easy.''
Mr Livingstone said growers should also be able to access low interest loans to assist in the longer term rebuilding.
"These measures were introduced after the 2011 floods and Cyclone Yasi and are an essential component of industry recovery,'' he said.