Bushfire recovery grants for apple growers

Applications for assistance under this scheme must be submitted before 31 December 2020. Please email naturaldisasters@daf.qld.gov.au for an application form to be sent to you or phone the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.

The Bushfire Recovery Grants for Apple Growers is funded by the Australian Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) for Queensland primary producers in the apple industry.

The purpose of the scheme is to assist apple growers whose orchards were damaged by the 2019 bushfires by providing a grant for the re-establishment or repair of apple orchards.

All activities proposed to be undertaken with funding from the scheme need to be detailed in the Bushfire Recovery Grants for Apple Growers Application Form and funding provided under the scheme must be spent by 30 June 2022. Where stock shortages result in a completion delay, adequate evidence of progress of works and plan to completion must be provided.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a grant under the scheme, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You are an apple grower who is a primary producer. For the purposes of this scheme, a primary producer is a person or a partner in a partnership, company or trust who spends more than 50% of their labour on and derives more than 50% of their gross income from a primary production enterprise, including income earned from value-added products, e.g. cider made directly from primary produce grown on the property.
  • You are a property owner, share-farmer or lessee of an apple farm.
  • Your property was within a DRFA disaster activated area for Category C clean up and recovery grants for the 2019 bushfires.
  • Your application is received in Brisbane before 31 December 2020.
  • You are able to match the assistance being sought from this program.  For example if you are seeking $100,000 you are able to provide a co-contribution of $100,000.  Eligible co-contributions include:
    • cash-on-hand
    • in-kind contributions
    • commercial or concessional finance (loans), or
    • expenses already incurred on eligible activities since the 2019 bushfire impacted your property.

Ineligible matching co-contributions include other government or non-government grant programs, including funding from state and territory programs.

Eligible activities

Eligible activities must be directly linked with re-establishing damaged or destroyed apple orchards, including:

  • replacement of apple trees (any variety of apples)
  • repair or replacement of damaged irrigation infrastructure
  • repair or replacement of damaged poles, trellises and netting
  • costs directly associated with clean-up of damaged infrastructure and other site preparation.

Ineligibility

The subsidy does not apply to:

  • repair to or replacement of sheds or packing facilities;
  • expansion projects, or rebuilding in areas that were not in active production;
  • repairing damage to residential properties; and
  • repairing damage or activities covered under existing insurance policies or other state or Commonwealth grants
  • replacing trees with anything other than apples.

Subsidy rates

Up to $120,000 per hectare of apple orchard with a matched contribution from the producer.

How to apply

An applicant must submit an application to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries that outlines the activities that the applicant plans to undertake with the grant funding and the amount sought in assistance. Submission of an application by the applicant does not guarantee funding will be approved.

In this application the applicant must provide an estimate of the damage sustained, repair work undertaken to date and an estimate of the costs of the activities planned to be undertaken if the application is reviewed and approved. The application where possible should include quotes or invoices that are reflective of current market prices for the goods or services. Any activities or goods purchased should be supplied from an appropriately qualified supplier or contractor where appropriate.  Where applicable, photographs or other information related to the damage sustained will assist in the assessment of the application.

A DAF officer will review the application and may approve the application or may suggest changes to the application or may limit the amount of funding provided to an amount less than sought should a lesser amount be considered sufficient to support recovery from the bushfire.

Approved applications will receive a statement from DAF confirming that the application has been approved, the amount of approved funding and the activities approved to be undertaken under the grant. This may also include other conditions DAF consider appropriate to ensure the activities undertaken provide value for money and meet the requirements of the scheme to support disaster recovery.

Activities that have already been undertaken may be considered for payment under the scheme at the discretion of DAF.

The application will need to provide evidence that the applicant can provide a co-contribution to the project equal to the amount sought under the scheme.

Please email naturaldisasters@daf.qld.gov.au for an application form to be sent to you or phone the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.

Keep a copy of your tax invoices for your records and submit completed application forms, quotes and any tax invoices, information indicating co-contribution and photos where available to the DAF Brisbane office at the below address. Please post applications to:

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Level 6
GPO Box 46
BRISBANE QLD 4001

Or email: naturaldisasters@daf.qld.gov.au

Processing times

DAF aims to process all claims within one month of receipt. Incomplete claims or claims that do not clearly meet the eligibility requirements may take longer. To ensure your claim is processed as quickly as possible, please make sure you have provided all of the required information and that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Payment method

DAF’s preferred method of payment is direct electronic transfer into your bank account; however, you may request payment by cheque. You can indicate on your form which method you would prefer.

Assessment and conditions of assistance

DAF will consider all applications received before 31 December 2020.

Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria. DAF reserves the right to request further information from you or from any business or individual you have engaged, to assist in assessing your application and to verify any information provided in your application. Failure to provide such information may result in DAF refusing your application. DAF also reserves the right to refuse an application, at its discretion, for any reason or for no reason irrespective of whether the eligibility criteria have been met.

Applicants must consent to the Commonwealth or DAF conducting an audit of documentation used to support an application to verify information provided. Applicants must keep an official register of in-kind contributions if used.

Approved applicants under the scheme must consent to providing a report including photographs summarising the activities undertaken through funding under this program no later than six months from when the activities are completed.

Approved applicants must retain records related to all funded activities undertaken including tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements, quotations or other similar records for a period of five years after the closing date for applications currently 31 December 2020.

All funded activities covered by these grants will need to be completed and all grant funding expended by 30 June 2023.

Fraudulent applications

By signing the application form, you are declaring that you have read the guidelines and the information provided in the application form and supporting documentation is true and accurate. Providing inaccurate, untrue or misleading information may be a breach of criminal law for which serious penalties may apply. If any information provided in an application or supporting documentation is found to be inaccurate, untrue or misleading, legal action may be taken against you, including action to recover the approved funds.

Appeal and review process

If you are declined all or part of the assistance sought because DAF officers believe you do not meet the eligibility criteria (for example, DAF officers believe you do not qualify as a ‘primary producer’ for the purpose of this scheme) or has not approved the amount sought and only approved a lesser amount, you may request re-consideration of the decision by writing to the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries outlining the reasons why you believe you are eligible or the decision should be reviewed and including any additional supporting evidence.

Payment of a declined or partially declined claim may be approved at the Minister’s discretion, if the Minister considers that the evidence provided by you demonstrates that you meet the eligibility criteria.

Guidelines

These guidelines are correct at the time of publishing. DAF and the Australian Government reserves the right to amend, alter or change these guidelines at any time, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they check the relevant website frequently. The guidelines that apply to your application will be the guidelines that are current at the time your application is received by DAF.

While DAF has taken all care in preparing these guidelines, DAF will not be liable in any way for any errors, omissions or variation to information in these guidelines or for not advising an applicant of any errors, omissions or variations to information in these guidelines.

Availability of assistance is subject to funds being made available by the Australian Government.

DAF or the Australian Government may cancel or suspend this scheme at any time without notice.

Applications must be received by DAF by the 31 December 2020.  Any applications received after the 31 December 2020 will not be eligible for assistance.