Flood devastation: the beginnings of a fix
I don’t think many of us realise the enormity of the Queensland floods. Land the size of Victoria has been inundated, causing financial and emotional heartbreak and devastation.
Australia’s 150,000 farmers produce enough food to feed 80 million people. Not only do they provide 93% of the domestic food supply, but they support an export market valued at more than A$40 billion per annum – that’s over 13% of national export revenue.
As a result of this catastrophic flood, much of that has been left in tatters.
In North Queensland 800 properties have been affected but due to prohibitive insurance costs, most commercial breeding herds were not covered for losses arising from floods. It is estimated the value of these losses is in the hundreds of millions.
Neither is it likely that insurance will cover the property damage caused by the flood, as the damage came from the ground up (flooding), instead of the roof down (storm damage).
This presents an extraordinary opportunity for the Federal government to show strong leadership, do the right thing, and maybe even stockpile some political capital in the lead-up to what is expected to be a brutal election campaign.
Guru tip 1 – waive GST, BAS and all ATO payments for affected farmers / business owners who lodge an insurance claim, for a period of three years. This will ease the burden of business costs during the rebuilding phase.
Guru tip 2 – Double the small business asset write-off incentive from $20,000 to $40,000 for affected businesses, which will provide an incentive not only to rebuild, but to invest.
Guru tip 3 – Lobby the Queensland government to match dollar-for-dollar any amount the federal government contributes to relief funding.
Guru tip 4 – In light of the damning Banking Royal Commission, the government should apply pressure on the banks to demonstrate that they have learnt how to ‘do the right thing’ by offering affected businesses a zero-interest rebuilding facility or loan product.