Capricornia MP lays blame for cyclone assistance delay
FEDERAL Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has responded to frustration from farmers and small business owners still awaiting cyclone assistance in the Livingstone and Rockhapmton shires, blaming the Queensland government for the delay.
Ms Landry says she had received many calls of concern from farmers and small business owners, as well as local government and business economic groups, frustrated with the delay in assistance - despite it being approved by the federal government.
"The federal government was more than pleased to assist people impacted by Cyclone Marcia by signing off on Category C assistance for the local government areas of Livingstone and Rockhampton," Ms Landry says.
The federal government approved assistance for primary producers on March 12, and for small business and not-for-profit groups on March 20.
"Any delays in handing out financial help to those in desperate need in the Livingstone and Rockhampton shires lies firmly in the lap of the Queensland state government," Ms Landry says.
"Under the Commonwealth-State agreement, the criteria and eligibility rules for assistance are drawn-up and administered by the Queensland state government and it is now the state's responsibility to ensure help is directly handed out to local businesses that need it.
"I, like small business advocates, am disappointed if people are still waiting to access support."
She says there is no further hold-up on the part of the federal government as to why eligible farmers and small business owners can't apply or access the assistance, which includes grants of up to $25,000.