Drought and Natural Disaster Information for Producers

Drought and Natural Disaster Information for Producers

Keep Up To Date On Drought 
AgForce members receive regular drought updates through our member communications via Envoy magazine, Member Alerts and AgForce Action. As drought assistance and information is constantly evolving, ensure you receive the most current information by regularly checking your inbox. AgForce Action is also available for viewing in a PDF format our Members Only section every Wednesday. Information on announcements and drought media can be found on our media pages, as well as via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  

Make sure you connect with us and join the conversation.

Drought Resources
There are a range of assistance measures for primary producers affected by drought. Information on Australian Government drought support is available here and information on Queensland Government drought responses are available here.

AgForce has compiled a comprehensive list of relevant contacts for drought-affected members to assist in finding a range of assistance options.

The list includes a range of phone numbers and websites including State Government and Commonwealth support, private support providers and access to practical assistance like fodder drops and household needs and personal support.

To view the list, please click here.

The Bureau of Meteorology also has a range of information on their website and specific services for agricultural industries are available here.

Natural disaster preparedness

Be prepared for natural disaster: print out several copies of AgForce's handy list of essential numbers to keep on your fridge and in your glovebox for quick access to emergency contacts.

For more information on and help with being prepared for a natural disaster, please visit the following pages:

Queensland Government Disaster Management

Queensland Government Disaster Management 'Get ready Queensland'

Queensland Government Emergency Services and Safety

Queensland Government Emergency Management 'Prepare for cyclone, storm and tsunami'

Queensland Government Traffic and Travel Information or phone 13 19 40

Queensland Government Emergency services and safety – Disasters

BOM Queensland Weather and Warnings

Queensland Government Disaster Management Activations

DAFFQ Natural Disaster Coordination

DAFFQ Natural Disaster Check List

DAFFQ Emergency and disaster assistance

DAFFQ Relief assistance with links to QRAA

Ergon Energy Storms and disasters

Energex Safety during severe weather

Insurance Council of Australia Consumer Tips for Flood Insurance

North Australia Fire Information

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service

Stay up-to-date by following these important Queensland groups on Twitter:

@QPSmedia, @QLDfire, @WeatherAUS, @salvos, @QldAlerts

Financial assistance

On this page you will find useful information about Government natural disaster recovery assistance. Many of these links will prove extremely helpful for those still recovering from the devastation of the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi.

For those suffering from the recent fires in Central Queensland the IDSP and freight subsidies will be the most helpful options.

Financial organisation assistance
: Find out which financial organisations can help you.

Government assistance

› Individually Disaster Stricken Property declaration

To obtain an IDSP declaration, please contact DEEDI to arrange an inspection.

Click here to find out more.

› Freight subsidies
Freight subsidies of up to $5000 per disaster event are available for eligible primary producers located within a disaster-declared area under joint Commonwealth/State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), or where a primary producer has a current Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration.

Click here for more information.

› Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy - Flooding and severe weather
If you have been affected by Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi or the Queensland floods you may be eligible for a disaster income recovery subsidy.

Applications closed on 31 March 2011 but you may still be able to claim under exceptional circumstances.

Contact Centrelink for more information about the disaster income recovery subsidy.

› Wage assistance
Applications for wage assistance closed on 30 June 2011.

If you need to change any of the details on your original application, please see the variation form available on the Centrelink website.

› Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
The Australian Government announced on 31 December 2010 that The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) be activated to assist people who have been adversely affected by the heavy rainfall, storm damage and associated flooding in Queensland that began in November 2010 and continued in January 2011.

The claiming period for this payment closed 4 July 2011.

The lodgement of claims after this date may be considered if your claim falls outside the operational instructions special circumstance provisions, including the claim lodgement period, and where Centrelink considers there are exceptional circumstances that warrant consideration.

Click here for more information.

Tropical Cyclone Yasi
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) has been activated to assist people who have been adversely affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasi in February 2011.

The claiming period for this payment closed on August 3 2011.

The lodgement of claims after this date may be considered if your claim falls outside of the operational instructions special circumstance provisions, including the claim lodgement period, and where Centrelink considers there are exceptional circumstances that warrant consideration.

Click here for more information.

› QRAA Assistance
The Queensland Government has released a range of assistance initiatives to help primary producers recover from natural disasters throughout the State, including:
  • Exceptional disaster assistance
  • Natural disaster assistance
  • Special disaster assistance
Click here for a summary of the Government assistance available for eligible shires impacted by Queensland flooding and Cyclone Yasi.

› Free legal help
Services are provided by Legal Aid Queensland, the Queensland Law Society, Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service and other organisations.

For more information about the community forums or to access legal publications covering flood and cyclone-related issues, visit the Flood and Cyclone Legal Help website at http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/floods/Pages/default.aspx

› How do I find out more?

For more information on available assistance, contact the Australian Government's Emergency Assistance Hotline on 180 2266 or the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority 1800 623 946 or www.qraa.qld.gov.au

Visit the Queensland Government's flood support site to find out more: www.qld.gov.au/floods/support.html

Click here for the State Government's 'small business online flood first aid kit' - a useful guide containing information to help small businesses recover financially.

Flood assistance fact sheets
CondonTreasure accountants have developed a range of fact sheets to help primary producers, small businesses and individuals understand what government assistance is available to them.

Click here to read general information.
Information for primary producers
Information for small business
Information for individuals and families
Quick reference guide

Financial services

› WFI: Call 1300 934 934, or visit www.wfi.com.au.

› Westpac: If you have any questions on Westpac's relief package please call the Westpac Flood Relief Hotline on 132 032, then press #.

› AustSafe Super: Call 1300 131 293, 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday.

› Commonwealth Bank: Visit the website.

› NAB: Visit the website, or your local branch.

› Rural Bank: Call 1300 660 115.

› ANZ: Natural disaster assistance package.

The floods of 2011, then 2013 demonstrated the devastation that Mother Nature can inflict on agricultural producers and rural and regional communities. Producers and communities continue to recover from the widespread flooding across Queensland, Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland and serious floods and fires that subsequently engulfed many other parts of  Queensland. Rural and regional communities will continue to face natural disasters and AgForce will continue to lobby the Government for emergency assistance and for long-term initiatives to assist producers in rebuilding their enterprises.

› Key information

Click the below links to find out more about what assistance and support is available to communities and producers:

 Below is an AgForce guide to help producers rebuild and recover after a natural disaster.

Natural Disaster Recovery Landholders Guide

Emergency contact numbers

SES: 132 500
Disaster Recovery Hotline: 1800 173 349
Centrelink: 180 22 66
Donate: 1800 219 028
Insurance Council of Australia: 1300 728 228

General enquiries and assistance: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Traffic Report Line (to report road closures and/or traffic incidents):131 940 or www.131940.qld.gov.au
RACQ – Road Closure Information:1300 130 595
RACQ – Roadside Assistance:131 905
Health Advice:13 43 25 84

Toowoomba Local Disaster Coordination Centre: 07 4688 6992
Dalby Local Disaster Coordination Centre: 07 4662 6666
Lockyer Valley Disaster Coordination Centre:1300 005 872

In a life-threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000).

Policelink Flood Information Hotline

Relatives and friends seeking information about people in flood affected areas should call 1300 993 191

International calls: +61 7 3055 6220.

Getting back on track 

Click here for useful information for producers following the 2010/2011 floods.

A natural disaster is an event that seriously disrupts normal business operations and overwhelms the resources available within a community or area to respond to the event.  

The most common disaster events in Queensland are cyclones, severe storms and floods.


Local Government
Local Government has the responsibility to prepare for and respond to disaster events that affect all persons and businesses within their council/shire boundary.  This includes rural enterprises and farming families.
Department of Emergency Services (DES)
DES has overall responsibility for the coordination of resources to support Local Governments impacted by a disaster event. Other State Government departments and agencies have designated functional responsibilities (lead agency) for specific issues.  For example:
  • Queensland Health – public health.
  • Queensland Transport – roads, railways, airports, seaports.
  • Department of Communities – personal welfare matters.
  • Primary Industries – animal welfare (including fodder resupply).
During natural disaster events AgForce assists members and their enterprises by ensuring that government(s), government departments and relevant agencies are aware of the impact of the event and that they respond to and provide assistance in accordance with their responsibilities contained in the Disaster Management Act 2003 and the State Disaster Management Plan
How can AgForce help?

AgForce will endeavour to assist government(s) and relevant agencies during disaster events by:
  • Advising members to request assistance from, and report losses and damage caused by the event to their Local Government.
  • Gathering information on the scale of the event from members using the AgForce member network and provide this to government and all relevant agencies.
  • Providing industry advice as required.

Post the initial impact of natural disaster events; AgForce will represent the needs of members and their enterprises to government, government departments and relevant agencies as necessary to support their recovery from the disaster event. 

Tell us your story

To help AgForce, the Government and other organisations respond to the 2011 floods, please fill in the following form and email it to AgForce at feedback@agforceqld.org.au or fax to (07) 3236 3077.

Template for short term assessment of natural disaster impacts on producers

AgForce encourages members to utilize all available information provided to deal with all types of impacts as a result of the severe weather. Some useful contact numbers are included on the list at the bottom of this page.

Please remember if you are in a life threatening, critical or serious situation please call 000.

If you require help with a damaged rood, rising flood waters or trees fallen on dwellings call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.

Weather reports
Power supply and outages
Dangerous situations or downed power lines:
  • SEQ residents contact Energex on 13 19 62
  • All other Queensland residents contact Ergon Energy on 13 16 70
Loss of supply:
  • SEQ residents contact Energex or phone 13 62 62
  • All other Queensland residents contact Ergon Energy or phone 13 22 96
School closures
For a list of school closures visit http://deta.qld.gov.au/natural-disasters.html

Local information
For local specific information visit your local council's website.


BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with farmers and families in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Working alongside the rural families and farmers, volunteers help to rebuild fences that have been damaged or destroyed.

Equally important, volunteers also help to lift the spirits of farming families who are often facing their second or third flood event after years of drought, or devastating losses through bushfires. BlazeAid volunteers work in a disaster-affected area for many months, working with rural property owners and farmers to help them rebuild their fencing and their communities and to become productive again.

How to register:
  • If you are in the South Burnett Regional Council area - Phone 4189 9104
  • If you are in the Gympie Regional Council area - Phone 1300 307 800 (and ask for Bonnie or Bronwyn)
You will be asked to complete the form that is attached here.  This helps coordinate what you need with what BlazeAid needs.  The Council staff will then ask you about when you might be ready to receive volunteers.

Road conditions and closures
Financial assistance
Primary producers who have suffered extreme flood damage in eligible local government areas will be able to access a loan and grant package of up to $650,000 under the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme.  This comes after a strong advocacy effort from AgForce Queensland and other peak groups representing the needs of flood affected members.

The Category D assistance will be available to those primary producers that suffered damage to the extent that previously announced assistance measures will not be enough to restore their business.

The loan includes a grant of up to $50,000, and the first two years of a loan would be interest and repayment free.  From the third year a 1.7 per cent interest rate will initially apply for disaster loans.

Forms for the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme loan package will soon be available at www.qraa.qld.gov.au.  

For more information about the Exceptional Disaster Assistance Scheme please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946.

Category C grants provide for two tiers of assistance, with Tier 1 being an initial cash grant up to $5,000 to allow immediate repair activities and a subsequent grant of up to $20,000 requiring proof of expenditure for larger scale works.

Primary producers and small businesses should keep all receipts and invoices of expenditure and contact the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) on 1800 623 946 to discuss eligibility.

For further information on eligible government areas and disaster assistance available through QRAA, please contact QRAA on Freecall 1800 623 946 or visit www.qraa.qld.gov.au.

For information on small business support visit www.business.qld.gov.au 

Essential Household Contents Grant
Structural Assistance Grant
Immediate financial assistance

People who are experiencing personal hardship due to the storm should contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349 for support.

For more information visit the Queensland Government Natural Disaster Assistance webpage.

Financial counselling:
Alan C Broome
Rural Financial Counsellor
RFCS Qld-South Western Region (Kingaroy Office)
Phone: 07 4160 0736
Fax: 07 4162 3238
Mob: 0448 999 742

Coping with the strain of a disaster
Personal wellbeing during this time may be an issue for a family member or a neighbour.

Members are advised of the general community support available and are encouraged to seek assistance if required.

For a comprehensive list of material and supports:
  • Flying Padre: 07 4749 3875
  • Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978
  • BeyondBlue info line: 1300 224 636
  • Red Cross: 1800 733 111
  • Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
  • Lifeline Telephone Counselling: 131 114
  • Kid's Help Line: 1800 551 800
  • Dvconnect (domestic violence support): 1800 811 811
  • Parentline: 1300 301 300
  • Salvo Care Line: 1300 363 622; http://salvos.org.au/
  • Seniors Enquiry Line: 1300 135 500
  • Gary Cowan or Tracey Winchester
    Choice Disaster Recovery (Mental Health Services).
    Gympie - (07) 5482 9007

Social media
Follow on Facebook and Twitter to receive up to the minute information
  • Queensland Police Service
  • Queensland SES
  • Queensland Fire and Rescue Service
Aussie Helpers
Financial donations to the Aussie Helpers Foundation can be made at www.aussiehelpers.org.au

Material donations can be made phoning 1300 665 232.

Drought and Natural Disaster Information for Producers

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