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Questions over delayed Sunshine Coast disaster declaration

By Bruce Atkinson, Wednesday February 20, 2013 - 11:58 EDT

The Sunshine Coast Regional Council in south-east Queensland is being asked to explain why it has taken so long to submit a disaster funding application to help primary producers.

More than three weeks after ex-tropical cyclone Oswald devastated many Sunshine Coast producers, the region still has not been disaster declared.

Other councils got their submission in within days but state Agriculture Minister John McVeigh was still receiving information from the coast council yesterday.

"Some of them got stuck into it very early, in other words three weeks ago," he said.

"There are others that I am still working with.

"Some have swung into gear very, very quickly and that's the secret to this sort of process."

Sunshine Coast councillor Jenny McKay wants an explanation.

"I don't know why Bundaberg and Gympie could actually be declared within 12 hours," she said.

Cr McKay is demanding a report from council.

"Ask whether we have been slow in what we should have prepared," she said.

Dairy farmer Elke Watson is angry.

"I don't care who's responsible, I just want that application in," she said.

"I think it's horrific, I really do. If we don't get some help there's some farmers in serious danger and and in despair."

Mr McVeigh hopes the coast's submission can be finalised and approved by the Federal Government within a week.


© ABC 2013

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