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Frequently Asked Questions - Primary Producers (Queensland bushfires, September - December 2019)

QRIDA provides assistance under the joint Commonwealth and State Government funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements to eligible primary producers. The disaster event activated for Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants assistance is:

Eligible disaster

Defined disaster area

Queensland Bushfires, September - December 2019

  • Bundaberg Regional Council
  • Gladstone Regional Council
  • Gympie Regional Council
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Livingstone Shire Council
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Mareeba Shire Council
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Southern Downs Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council
  • Toowoomba Regional Council

Grants are available to help eligible applicants pay for costs of clean-up, reinstatement activities and emergency measures associated with the immediate recovery of their primary production enterprise from direct damage caused by the disaster event.

Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants up to a maximum of $75,000 is available to assist eligible primary producers.

Assistance available

What do I need to provide with my grant application?
Applicants must provide evidence of the direct damage, including a list of damage sustained, photographs, estimates and quotations.

For expenses already incurred, applicants must submit documented evidence of actual expenditure such as official invoices and receipts.

How many times can I claim for assistance?

Should an initial application be for less than the maximum grant amount, you can submit further applications for the grant if additional expenditure is required as your clean-up, reinstatement activities and emergency measures are progressively completed and paid for – up to a total of $75,000.

I have no photographic evidence of the damage caused to my operation. Can I still apply for the grant without this supporting evidence?

In the absence of photographic evidence you may still apply and provide quotes or tax invoices that can be identified as related to the Queensland Bushfires, September - December 2019. If further evidence is required, QRIDA will make contact to discuss your circumstances. Photographs taken using a smartphone are generally eligible.

If my main source of income is not primary production but my property has suffered damage, am I eligible for assistance?

If your main source of income is not from primary production, you may still be eligible if:

  1. your business would usually meet the income requirements but does not currently due to drought or long lead times to full production, with the expectation to earn majority of income from primary production within three years; and
  2. if your off-farm income (per person) is less than $100,000 per year.

Should you seek to apply under this criterion, QRIDA shall generally require full financial information (financial statements, management records and tax returns) plus a business plan and forecast cashflows to evidence how and when your primary production business shall represent your main source of income.

In these cases, please contact QRIDA to discuss. These applications will be assessed by QRIDA on a case-by-case basis.

Can I request that grant funds be paid into any bank account I choose to nominate?

No. Grant funds must be paid into a bank account in the same name as your application or trading entity. For example, if your enterprise operates as a partnership, grant funds can only be paid into your partnership account.

Eligible costs

My primary production enterprise has suffered a loss of trade as a result of the disaster. Can I apply for assistance to cover loss of income?

No. Loss of income is not eligible under this scheme.  This assistance is available to help with costs of clean-up and reinstatement caused by direct damage from the disaster event.

However, if your enterprise has not experienced direct damage, but has suffered a significant loss of income as a result of the Queensland Bushfires, September - December 2019, you may be eligible to apply for an Extraordinary Bushfire Assistance Loan of up to $500,000.

For information on the Extraordinary Bushfire Assistance Loan click here.

I’ve used my own equipment to repair damage. Can I claim costs in relation to this?

You are not able to claim assistance for the use of your own equipment, for example dry hire or the cost of your own labour.

You may however claim for any additional labour or fuel, oil and other costs incurred in the use of this equipment. Fuel, machinery and operator costs incurred as a result of the eligible disaster can be detailed using the Fuel Calculator Schedule within the application form.

Can I use the assistance to purchase items not owned at the time of the disaster to undertake repair work?

Yes. The assistance is available for the purchase, hire or lease costs for equipment essential to undertake clean-up activities. Generally, purchase costs should not exceed hire or lease costs.

Are fodder drops or essential movement of livestock eligible expenditure items for primary producers?

Yes. Costs associated with these items are eligible for assistance to enable you to immediately resume your business. However, the ongoing purchase of fodder is generally not eligible.

Can I apply for an individual grant for expenditure associated with collaborative activities, for example a group of producers combining to freight fodder?

Yes. Individual applicants are eligible to apply for their share of costs associated with joint activities for eligible purposes. Full details and evidence of payment of these collaborative activities will need to be provided to QRIDA.

I lost part of my crop as a result of the disaster. Is replanting this area eligible under the scheme?

Yes. Replanting the cropping area destroyed as a result of the disaster is an eligible activity under the scheme. However, normal replacement of aged trees/crops or planting of fallow land is not.

A family member has their own contracting business.  Can I use them to repair our damage?

You are able to use relatives to repair your damage as long as transactions are retained at arm’s length and conducted in the same way as with any other contractor. Any contractors used must have an ABN and provide a tax invoice and official receipt for work completed. QRIDA may request additional information in these circumstances to confirm the validity of the claim.

Can I apply for assistance to repair or replace my house and/or household goods?

No.  The assistance does not cover repairing houses or repairing or replacing household goods.

For information on household assistance, please contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349 or visit www.communities.qld.gov.au

Can I seek clean-up and recovery costs for damage incurred on a property I am leasing?

Yes, as long as you can demonstrate that you as tenant (lessee) are primarily responsible for the cost of the eligible clean-up and repairs.

A lease is a legal contract that defines in broad terms the responsibilities for landlord (lessor) and tenant (lessee) in relation to repairs and maintenance. Often such leases are supplemented with other documents outlining insurances, improvements and operational matters.

QRIDA also recognise that the lessor and lessee may from time to time agree to reassign responsibility for activities within the context of their lease arrangement if both parties concur.

An applicant is required to provide a copy of their lease and any other documents to QRIDA to demonstrate that they are primarily responsible for the eligible costs being claimed.

QRIDA may also accept a co-signed statutory declaration if this assists the applicant in demonstrating they are responsible for costs being claimed or they are unable to immediately resume farming activities without meeting the cost of reinstatement of the damaged property themselves.

Such a co-signed statutory declaration for an applicant who is the lessee (tenant) should clearly state:

  1. That the lessor will not be meeting the costs of reinstatement of the damaged property for which the lessee (applicant) has made the grant application;
  2. That the applicant (lessee) cannot immediately resume business activities without meeting the cost of reinstatement of the damaged property themselves;
  3. The nature and extent of damage impacting on the immediate resumption of business activities;
  4. Details of the reinstatement costs being claimed by the applicant which differ from the existing lease contract or other documents outlining the liabilities/responsibilities of each party and which have been agreed between the parties;
  5. That these same costs are not covered by insurance or other government assistance.

Please note the statutory declaration does not guarantee approval of the application, but simply provides QRIDA with information clarifying liabilities and responsibilities in respect to a leased property, specifically relating to damage and costs, in order to undertake an assessment of a grant application.

I commenced cleaning-up my property before the assistance was activated. Can I apply for assistance in relation to costs I incurred before the assistance was activated?

Yes. Assistance may be available for these costs as long as they were incurred (invoiced and receipted), after the disaster event commenced.

I am a fisher based in a defined disaster area.  Can I apply for the assistance?

Fishers who have sustained direct damage to fishing equipment and vessels as a result of the disaster may be eligible for assistance. Assistance is not however available to compensate for loss of income due to inability to fish because of the event.

If your enterprise has not experienced direct damage but has suffered a significant loss of income as a result of the disaster, you may be eligible to apply for an Extraordinary Bushfire Assistance Loan of up to $500,000.

For information on the Extraordinary Bushfire Assistance Loans Scheme click here.

I have two separate businesses which were affected by the disaster event and are registered under the same ABN. Can I apply for assistance for both businesses?

Yes. If you operate a primary production business under a single ABN on separate businesses in different locations, you can apply for assistance up to $75,000 for each eligible business.

You will be required to submit evidence to verify the viability and autonomy of the separate businesses and submit an application form for each business, detailing the disaster damage sustained by that business.

For more details, please refer to the Guidelines.

General eligibility

Can I apply for assistance if I have insurance to cover disaster damage?

You are not eligible for assistance if you are entitled to receive a payment under an insurance policy for costs directly associated with eligible activities. However, you may be eligible for a grant for costs that are not covered by their insurance, or for amounts in excess of the value insured.

Emergency Bushfire Response Primary Industries Grants cannot be substituted for making a claim under an insurance policy.

Irrespective of the insurance cover held or the status of an outstanding insurance claim, QRIDA still encourages you to make an application.

QRIDA may be unable to finalise your Emergency Bushfire Response Primary Industries Grant application until the outcome of your insurance claim is determined. A copy of your insurance policy may also be requested.

Can I contract to complete disaster recovery repairs on a neighbouring farm and then my neighbour contracts to complete similar repairs on my farm, and we both claim?

No. Contract work can only be considered as an eligible claim when the repairs cannot be undertaken utilising your own equipment. You may however claim for additional labour or fuel, oil and other costs incurred in the use of this equipment. Refer to the Fuel Calculator section of the application form.

Is GST included in any payment received?

No. If you are registered for GST, the GST component on your invoice(s) should be claimed once you complete your Business Activity Statement (BAS).  You will receive a ‘payment advice’ and approval letter from us if your application is successful.  Please retain as a record for taxation purposes.

If you are NOT registered for GST and therefore unable to claim the GST portion from the Australian Tax Office (ATO), QRIDA will consider reimbursement of the GST inclusive amount on your invoice/s. However, please note that for a primary producer to be eligible under the scheme, it must represent your main source of income.

Can the assistance be subject to later audit?

Yes. QRIDA may conduct an audit to verify the assistance has been used in accordance with the claim. Applicants must retain all evidence of expenditure associated with their claim until 12 months after the closing date for the scheme. This may include permission for on-farm access to confirm that grant and co-contribution funding provided have been expended on approved purposes.

Penalties apply for providing false or misleading information in applications under the Rural and Regional Adjustment Act 1994 or the Criminal Code.

How do I apply?

Applications can be made:

  • By emailing your scanned completed application form and supporting documentation to QRIDA at contact_us@qrida.qld.gov.au. Your total email message size should be under 8MB.  If your email size exceeds 8MB you can send your documentation in across multiple emails.  If you are unsure, please contact us on Freecall 1800 623 946 to confirm receipt.
  • By posting your completed application form and supporting documentation to QRIDA.

Has your question been answered?

If you require further assistance, please contact QRIDA on:

Email: contact_us@qrida.qld.gov.au

Phone: Freecall 1800 623 946

Regional support

QRIDA also has a network of eleven Regional Area Managers (RAM’s) based throughout regional Queensland to provide up-to-date information on QRIDA’s programs. Our are available to meet on-farm to help producers with their queries and assist with their applications. Click here to find your local Regional Area Manager.

Last updated
30 April 2020