Reprieve on rent for NQ farm operators

Producers impacted by Cyclone Niran offered rent reprieve

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Land rent due between March 1 and August 30 will be deferred for up to six months.

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ROUGH: Cyclone Niran banana crop damage. Picture: Kim Mastin

ROUGH: Cyclone Niran banana crop damage. Picture: Kim Mastin

MORE than 1500 primary producers impacted by tropical Cyclone Niran will receive a land rent reprieve as part of the government's disaster assistance measures.

The powerful tropical cyclone destroyed nearly one third of Australia's banana crop earlier this year with fears farmers could be without income until September.

Banana crops across the Cassowary Coast and northern Tablelands were decimated with properties around Innisfail - particularly Boogan and Wangan - reporting up to 100 per cent losses.

Resources Minister Scott Stewart said more than $213,000 worth of land rent due between March 1 and August 30 would be automatically deferred for up to six months.

"The Palaszczuk government understands 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.

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

"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."

Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Mark Furner said the assistance would be important for FNQ producers who had suffered damage from Cyclone Niran.

"This additional assistance will help to give affected producers the breathing space they need to get back on their feet," Mr Furner said.

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.

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