The State Government will provide more support to flood-affected primary producers in the Gawler River Floodplain region with grants up to $10,000.
In addition to the grants, a taskforce which will work on the longer term economic recovery, has also been established to help affected businesses across the State develop future investment opportunities.
Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell will Chair the Business Reinvestment Industry Taskforce and Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis will be Deputy Chair. Other members include Minister Stephen Mullighan and Minister Kyam Maher as well as industry representatives.
The focus of the taskforce will be on using business reinvestment opportunities to re-establish and grow the primary production businesses affected by the storms and floods.
The State Government will then provide additional financial support where appropriate.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell
Our State’s agriculture sector was hit hard by the recent storms and flooding – particularly in the Gawler River Floodplain region.
I visited the region last week and I saw the damage first-hand and I am out here again today announcing our response to the next stage of recovery.
In 2005, when there was flooding, the local community and growers were prepared to manage the damage themselves. Unfortunately it took months for the water to drain away and the process caused angst amongst people who were already stressed because of the flooding.
This time the State Government has stepped in early to provide leadership and co-ordination.
Almost immediately we had crews from PIRSA assessing the damage and providing advice to businesses. The State Government also set up a hotline – which has helped more than 40 callers - and 76 affected producers have completed impact assessments.
The $10,000 grants are in addition to the Business Reinvestment Industry Taskforce which will examine ways flood affected businesses and industries come out of this storm stronger than before.
The taskforce will work with business and community leaders to come up with long-term solutions.
For many farmers it may take six to 12 months to recover. The State Government will be here for the long haul, working hard to get them back on their feet.
The recent storm, the most devastating in SA for more than 50 years, and associated flooding between September 28 and October 4 caused significant damage to primary production businesses.
Industry estimates up to 300 growers were affected by inundation – in some cases having up to two metres of water across their fields and through their greenhouses.
The Government has already provided $260,000 to help pump flood water away from properties and back into the Gawler River.
The additional $10,000 grants will be will be made available for eligible businesses in the inundated areas in Gawler River Floodplain region – which includes the City of Playford and Adelaide Plains Council - to assist with immediate costs associated with flooding and storm damage.
Information and guidelines on how to apply for the grants is available on the Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) website at http://pir.sa.gov.au/gawlerriverfloodplaingrants
Primary producers requiring assistance should call PIRSA’s hotline number on (08) 8207 7847.
PIRSA teams will be operating from the Virginia Horticultural Centre for the foreseeable future.