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2 October 2019: QRIDA marks 25 years of supporting rural and regional Queensland

2 October 2019

CLOSE to $4 billion has been invested in Queensland agriculture in the 25 years since the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) was established but there is plenty more to be done in regional Queensland.

October 1, 2019 marks a quarter of a century since QRIDA (formerly QRAA) began helping Queensland primary producers and other industries do more, assisting close to 93,000 clients to establish and expand their businesses, or recover from natural disasters through a range of government financial assistance programs administered through QRIDA.

Chief Executive Officer Cameron MacMillan said as we reflected on the past 25 years, including periods of extensive industry development to devastating disaster, we couldn’t help but look forward to what else QRIDA could do in the future.

Mr MacMillan said already more than $1 billion had been administered through the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (including First Start and Sustainability Loans) to assist new entrants into agriculture and to build long term productivity and sustainability of Queensland primary producers.

“Another $865 million has been delivered in disaster recovery grants and loans to help primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations to get back on their feet after cyclones, floods, fires and other disasters,” Mr MacMillan said.

“In total, QRIDA has administered 90 different loan, grant and rebate assistance programs.

“It’s a commitment we’re proud of – and there is more to be done and there is an exciting future in Queensland agriculture.

“With challenges for our clients such as climate and markets becoming even more significant, we need to continue to be agile and evolve in order to best support our clients.

“Agriculture is going to change a lot in the next 25 years and we are committed to adapting with Queensland farmers and helping them to invest in infrastructure like fencing, water, energy, digital and other technologies and contemporary management practices.

“QRIDA has an increasingly regionalised service delivery model with Regional Area Managers on the ground across 11 regions with close to a quarter of our staff now based in the regions. Our service ethic has been the success of our organisation over 25 years.”

Mr MacMillan says our people have always had agriculture and rural Queensland in their DNA, and we have the skills and passion to understand our clients’ needs.

“We are proud of what we have achieved in the past 25 years but we’re even more proud of what else we can do, alongside regional Queensland, in the future,” he said.

Editor’s note: Short history of QRIDA

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) has come a long way since its early beginnings in 1986, when they were known as the Government Schemes Division, part of the Queensland Industry Development Corporation (QIDC).

On 1 October 1994, the division completely separated from QIDC and under the Rural and Regional Adjustment Act 1994 (Qld) became the 'Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority' (QRAA), reporting to the State Government.

QRAA’s core responsibilities were to administer the Queensland Government's Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (PIPES) and support the delivery of Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement (NDRRA) assistance for primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations which is jointly funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments.

QRAA became the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1 July 2017, as a result of the Farm Business Debt Mediation Act 2017 (Qld).

Since then, QRIDA have retained its key responsibilities while doing even more for rural and regional Queenslanders administering a broad range of financial assistance programs across a range of industries and Government departments and agencies.

Last financial year (2018-19) QRIDA approved 10,066 applications totalling over $237.2 million in financial assistance across all schemes in 2018-2019. Despite the record amount of grants and loans, QRIDA maintained an efficient and effective level of service as reflected in an increased client satisfaction rating of 92 per cent.

In addition, QRIDA oversees Queensland’s now mandatory Farm Business Debt Mediation program, administers Queensland’s Farm Debt Restructure Office and undertakes research and providing advice to government.

ENDS

Media contact: Emma Clarke 3032 0137

Last updated
2 October 2019