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Calls for flood assistance overhaul

Monday March 18, 2013 - 10:53 EDT

Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has joined the chorus of politicians calling for a review into the way flood assistance is administered.

Category C assistance was announced for Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley primary producers on Friday, but many local government areas are still waiting.

Mr Fraser says the criteria has changed in recent times and it now takes longer and is much harder to qualify.

However he says the availability of $15,000 will be a huge help for local producers.

"The Category C assistance is going to be a great benefit to many of the farmers especially the blueberries growers and the banana growers around the area that have not only had crops destroyed but also had their protective netting destroyed.

"It won't cover all their costs but it will go a long way to getting them back into business," he said.

The funding will assist farmers to assist in cleanup and recovery.

Mr Fraser says that will especially benefit blueberry and banana farmers in the region who lost stock and infrastructure in the recent floods.

He says the disaster funding system is in need of an overhaul.

"The reality is the criteria have changed since 2011.

"Farmers are having to wait longer and the restrictions are far worse than what they were in the past. I think we need a full review of all flood recovery assistance money, to make sure that people who need this assistance get it in a far more timely manner than what's happening at the moment," Mr Fraser said.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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