It is fair to say that Shane Stone, the head of the newly-minted North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency has hit the ground running.
When the North West Star caught up with Mr Stone he was busy working with with Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority officers in Townsville looking at how to implement the Prime Minister's latest announcement of a $400,000 grant to flood-affected farmers, to go along with the initial hardship payments of $1000 per adult and $75,000 farming enterprise ($50,000 for small business).
"The Commonwealth provides the money but QRIDA has the expertise to give the funds and assess the implications," Mr Stone said.
"The $400,000 is the third lot of grants for restocking, replanting infrastructure repairs on a dollar for dollar basis."
Mr Stone said given the size of the $400,000 grant there will be conditions are qualifying for it.
"The $75,000 grant, there was a very low threshold and a four page form, now we are talking an amount of money that has exceeded everyone's expectations - a grant not a loan - there will be conditions, there must be, otherwise you start to lose credibility with the taxpayer," he said.
"This money will be for purposes to get people back where they were, it is not a compensation scheme, not about replacing you herd, it is a hand-up not a hand-out."
Mr Stone said the full extent of the stock losses still wasn't fully known and wouldn't be until farmers did they mustering.
"I started on March 1 and the figures have ranged from 350,000 to 900,000 and I suspect it is somewhere in the middle," he said.
"Cattle have been washed from pillar to post, many have drowned but many have survived and are turning up on neighbouring properties."
As for where the replacement cattle would come from, Mr Stone said there was "an interface" between drought and flood affected regions.
"That moves around, the Barkly was in drought and then got rainfall and farmers in the Territory are now saying, 'we might hang on', and the same with the channel country," he said.
"In the past there was a preponderance of Brahman cattle in this area, a number of places have said they are going to start trialing Angus and different breeds, farmers are going to be creative. But we are not going to be too prescriptive about how they spend the money."
When asked about the discrepancy noted by Minister Linda Reynolds between the 800 farmers affected and the 250 or so that had claimed assistance so far, Mr Stone said it was due to a combination of factors such the fact they were still working on repairs while some others may feel they don't want to take what they think is charity or welfare.
"I tell them it is not welfare, it is not charity, it is your fellow Australians giving you a hand back up," he said.
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