Friday, 19 February 2021

Projects that lead to more jobs in the 14 Local Government Areas hardest hit by the 2019 North Queensland Monsoon Trough could receive grants of up to $500,000 under an Australian Government-funded program that supports the region’s ongoing recovery and resilience.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said Round 1 of the $9 million North Queensland Economic Diversification Grants program opens today. Between $10,000 and $500,000 is available for projects that diversify existing industries and start new ones.

“The grants are fairly flexible with how they can be used because we know the best ideas for broadening the region’s economic base will come from the locals,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The competitive grants are an opportunity for the region to strengthen its resilience to future economic blows.

“Funding is available in two streams, one for projects related to agriculture and its value chain, and one for non-agricultural related projects. 

“There are already good examples of economic diversification in the region, such as Winton and its use of the natural surroundings and increasing tourism appeal through attractions such as the Jump-Up Dark Sky Sanctuary which is part of the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. 

“There’s so much potential for other towns in North Queensland to leverage their uniqueness to do the same.”

The grants will be managed by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA). Information on how to apply is available on their website.

The North Queensland Economic Diversification Grants program is one of five measures totalling $60 million announced by the Australian Government in the 2020-21 Budget, to support the region’s ongoing recovery.

The locally led After the flood: A strategy for long-term recovery was prepared by the National Drought and Flood Agency, with extensive community consultation. For more information visit https://www.droughtandflood.gov.au/flood-recovery