Average loss $180k a farm

FOLLOWING a number of flood disaster meetings and site visits through flood-affected areas, the Southern Downs Regional Council's Economic Development Unit has been running a flood survey of affected farms and businesses.

Economic development officer Nick Edols said the survey was to collect data to be aggregated to further the case for a large section of the Southern Downs Regional Council area to be placed in Category C for disaster-funding purposes.

Category C lets farmers and small businesses to apply for grants not available under our present Category B designation.

Mr Edols said based on the responses so far to the council's flood survey the average farm loss was $180,000 per farm as a "direct or immediate loss".

"Additionally the interim results indicate there is average loss of over $200,000 per farm for ongoing impacts on production spread over the next five years due to reduced productive capacity," Mr Edols said.

He said the average per-farm loss figures would vary with more responses coming in.

"However the interim figures are based on a sample size large enough to give a clear indication of the magnitude of the cost to primary producers across the flood affected areas," he said.

"Preliminary estimates are that around 350 farms have been badly affected in the Southern Downs.

"When these average losses are multiplied over the number of farms affected it points to a very large negative impact on the local economy. Some tourism operators have been badly hit particularly in relation to infrastructure."

Mr Edols said the Economic Development Unit had been working with other agencies in engaging with farms and businesses.

"Justin Heaven, from the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, estimates that Warwick based businesses alone have suffered combined losses over $1 million and businesses in smaller towns such as Killarney are also badly affected," Mr Edols said.

"Feedback and information on business flood losses, including tourism operators, is being collected by word of mouth or email to the contacts listed below."

The survey is available at southerndowns.qld.gov.au or from council's Warwick office on Fitzroy St.

To notify the authorities about damage to your farm or rural business contact -

Nick Edols (council) on 4661 7332 or 0427 020 167 or email nick.edols@southerndowns.qld.gov.au.

Justin Heaven Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning on 4661 6613 or 0407 582 367 or email justin.heaven@dsdip.qld.gov.au.

Council Customer Service on 4661 0300 or email mail@southerndowns.qld.gov.au.

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