Local farmers welcome waiving of land rents
FARMERS have welcomed the state government’s offer to waive land rents for six months to help lessen the impact of coronavirus.
The state government collects on more than 250 leases, licenses and permits in the Maranoa and Balonne shires.
Most of the leases are on pastoral land including 198 pastoral leases in Maranoa and 16 in Balonne.
AgForce member Grant Maudsley, a beef and grain producer, said the rent holiday would help protect jobs, especially for beef exporters who had taken a big hit from falling demand.
He said most of the region’s leases on state land were on cattle country.
“People want to keep staff employed and this will go some way to help,” said Mr Maudsley.
“It’s all very handy at a time when everyone is uncertain what the future is going to look like.”
Mr Maudsley said like the drought, no-one knew when the pandemic and its impact would end, making planning difficult.
He said it was important to maintain the viability of primary industries to keep money circulating in rural communities.
Natural Resources minister Dr Anthony Lynham said farmers on pastoral leases would save on average around $3300.
Across Queensland, the rent break would help more than 6000 farmers, businesses, tourism operators and community and sporting clubs save a combined $33.8 million from 1 April to 30 September.
“Business across the state are doing it tough, and not having to pay land rent is one way we can help them and keep Queenslanders in jobs,” Dr Lynham said.
Lessees don’t have to apply and those who have already paid their rent for 1 April to 30 June 2020 will receive a refund or, if requested, a credit.
In situations where lessees have entered into sublease arrangements with another commercial business – the lessee is expected to pass on the savings to the sublessees.
For more information visit atqld.gov.au/StateLandRentRelief or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).