The managers wife Haylea Lavaring cleaning up at the Cold Store. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail
The managers wife Haylea Lavaring cleaning up at the Cold Store. Photo: Mike Knott/NewsMail Mike Knott BUNCOLD

Low interest loans available for flood-hit businesses

SMALL businesses and primary producers hit by the recent floods in Queensland can now access low interest loans from the federal and state government.

Loans of up to $650,000, as well as grants of 25% or up to $50,000 will be made available to business and farmers hit by the floods associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

The Category D disaster assistance comes after more than a week of negotiations between the Queensland Government and Commonwealth, and was welcomed by the state.

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the loans would help businesses get back on their feet, with a two-year interest free period and a concessional interest rate of 1.7% each year after the first two years.

"The Newman Government understands the hard work in recovering after this event has only just begun and we are continuing to negotiate with the Federal Government to secure a dedicated betterment fund, dedicated flood mitigation and appropriate engineering standards for the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure," he said.

"Queensland is a great state with great opportunity and our Government remains committed to building a stronger and more resilient Queensland in the wake of this disaster."

Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the extra loans would be available in the 14 worst-hit local government areas, from Bundaberg in the north to the Scenic Rim in the south.

"We will stand shoulder to shoulder with Queenslanders as they recover from this latest disaster," he said.

The grants were part of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, and are activated in the same category as loans made available during the recovery from the 2011 floods and Cyclone Yasi.