Questions remain over Category C grants for rural industries and big business

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Councillor Pryce Allsop and Member for Lismore Thomas George MP

MEMBER FOR Lismore Thomas George said he is “fully aware” that rural industries such as cane farmers, and those businesses with 21 or more employees, will not qualify for the latest Category C grant funds, but he’s working on a solution.

“I understand that many larger and rural business operators will not qualify for the Category C grants, but I am working on a solution and will have more as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr George said the Category C listing was aimed at small businesses only at this stage, although he acknowledged that more needs to be done to assist rural operators and large businesses.

His comments follow the announcement that parts of the Tweed Shire, including Murwillumbah, South Murwillumbah, Bray Park and Condong had been approved for Category C disaster funding of up to $15,000.

Questions also remain for Category C coverage at Tumbulgum, Chinderah, Uki, Mooball and Burringbar where extensive damage also took place.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest spoke to The Weekly and said the application for Category C at Tumbulgum and Chinderah is still in the submission stage.

“I would like to urge all those businesses affected in the Tumbulgum and Chinderah communities to submit their applications as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr Provest said the more comprehensive the application the more chance the communities have for approval.

“We need as many businesses affected to complete these applications (see below link), so we can get the approval as quickly as possible.”

Interestingly, Mr Provest said the Queensland Premier had submitted a two-page document to the Federal Government for Category C listing – which was likely to have led to it being knocked back.

“Two pages is not a comprehensive application, when the Lismore Shire submitted a 30-page document with as much information as possible,” he said.

“We need to be thorough and have as much information to demonstrate the impact, that’s why I am urging everyone to get those applications in.”

To assist with the assessment process, businesses in Tumbulgum, Chinderah, Mooball and Burringbar are encouraged to provide information on how they’ve been affected via:

www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthCoastFloodsBusinessSurvey

Note: Queensland is likely to re-apply for the Category C listing.