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Flood-hit graziers get fees respite

By Francis Tapim and Rhianwen Whitney, Monday February 11, 2013 - 12:01 EDT

The State Government is offering further help for primary producers and businesses affected by floods in southern inland Queensland.

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh says the State Government is deferring the payment of some fees and charges until producers are back on their feet.

He says fees associated with biosecurity, fisheries and plant health inspection will be deferred until the end of April.

"It's [a] matter of those that fall under what we call category C declared by the State Government and Federal Government as natural disaster relief areas that will automatically have their fees delayed to encourage them to continue on with their businesses," he said.

Meanwhile, the Southern Downs Regional Council is working with flood-affected farmers to make a case for increased financial support.

Mayor Peter Blundell says the recent floods have caused immense damage to farmland and infrastructure and they will be applying for category C disaster relief funding.

He says farmers in the Glengallen Valley and other areas such as Swan and Emu Creek near Toowoomba have been the hardest hit.

"The further down you get, the more silting you find occurring," he said.

"But there are not uncommon incidences of the loss of five to six feet or up to two metres of topsoil, which in the middle of a laser level paddock is just mind-boggling.

"The thought of how you reconstitute that is equally as daunting."

He says it is going to take a long time to fix.

"It's a matter of just get back into it," he said.

"I was speaking to somebody who had only just managed to get the last of their fencing reconstructed since the event two years ago, five or six days before this last event occurred.

"All that fencing's gone again - there's so much tidying up to be done before you can even consider reconstituting farming land."


© ABC 2013

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