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Funds welcomed by flooded farmers

AAP logoAAP 26/07/2016 By Andrew Drummond

Cries for help from Tasmania's flood-affected farmers have been answered with Canberra agreeing to provide natural disaster funding.

Swathes of agricultural land across the state was left underwater by heavy rain in early June and property owners are still reeling from the damage - some of which they have described as irreparable.

On Tuesday, more than seven weeks after the flood peak, state and federal governments offered joint support of $5.5 million, with grants of up to $10,000 available to help farmers with clean-up and restoration activities.

"These farmers need help and providing financial assistance for removing debris, disposing of dead livestock, salvaging crops, grain and feed, and repairing plants and equipment can make all the difference," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Will Hodgman said in a joint statement.

Primary producers through central, west, east and northern Tasmania may be eligible to apply.

In some cases pastures have been carved open by floodwaters or falling trees, or buried by up to a metre of river silt.

Dead livestock has meant setbacks in genetics.

"We are pleased to hear that the state government has acknowledged our concerns about the social, economic and environmental impacts that the floods have had on our farming communities," Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief Peter Skillern said.

Assessment of the flood damage will continue and the grants could be increased and extended to other local government areas.

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