No flood help in budget for Gympie
AS the federal budget is scrutinised over the next few days, it may come as a surprise to learn there is not much in it to help people or businesses that have been hurt by recent flooding in the region.
Gympie Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said there were still a lot of businesses struggling after January’s flood and there needed to be more money for flood relief in the budget.
“Not only a funding commitment, but actual dollars delivered to the region. A promise is one thing but actual dollars is another,” he said.
As Gympie Council asks businesses to have their say on confidence after the floods in the third bi-annual Gympie Regional Business Confidence Survey, Cr Perrett says some farmers have lost everything.
“Lucerne farmers on the banks of the river lost their entire crop,” he said.
Those farmers have had no production, he said, and had just started to replant for the next season.
“It will be spring or summer before they start to see a return.”
Cr Perrett said he did not know what to expect from the survey this time around.
“It will be interesting to see what comes out of the survey. It’s the first since the flood.”
He said tourism in particular had been hard hit since the floods and the boom Easter trade had not made up for the recent devastation.
Rural businesses were also suffering, he said, with some losing their income and having to foot massive repair bills.
“The planned cuts certainly don’t help. If farmers lose Federal assistance it makes it harder.”
Gympie Council has asked businesses to take part in the latest survey which opened on Tuesday.
Mayor Ron Dyne said the council was strongly committed to economic development in the region and the survey was an important part of that overall strategy.
“We need accurate and timely information about business conditions along with ideas direct from the business community on ways in which we can further assist our broad economic base,” said Cr Dyne.
Cr Perrett encouraged farmers to take part in the survey.