ABOUT 2000km of fencelines and 1280km of laneways and internal roads, including access to water, have been cleared on cyclone-affected properties of inland north Queensland under the highly successful Operation Clean Up (OCU) program.

To date, the program has focused mainly on beef cattle production properties in Tablelands, Etheridge, Hinchinbrook, Charters Towers and Flinders shires where Cyclone Yasi’s fury toppled thousands of trees cutting off access to damaged fences, cattle laneways and watering points.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said producers were gradually able to muster cattle and retrieve cattle that fled on to neighbouring properties during the storm.

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the hard work which has resulted in Operation Clean Up being such a success and helping so many businesses,” Mr Pitt said.

“I understand that some businesses in the affected region are still unaware they can receive clean-up assistance under Operation Clean Up.

“I encourage them to register their interest before Wednesday, August 31, so we can have a good idea of the number of jobs we need to complete before the next wet season starts.

“All businesses in the affected region including, farms and tourism businesses are eligible to apply if cyclone debris is preventing them from carrying out repairs or preventing access essential to their operations,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin said businesses can lodge their requests with OCU via the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation on 13 25 23.

“We have so far spent or have committed more than $2 million to complete 111 jobs cleaning up farms and tourism businesses in the inland areas,” Mr Mulherin said.

“This on top of the $6.5 million spent on cleaning up farms and tourism businesses in the Hinchinbrook and Cassowary Coast shires on the coast.

“Operation Clean Up is part of the joint state-Commonwealth funded $20 million Rural Resilience package for the areas severely impacted by Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi.

“With August 31 fast coming up, we don’t want any eligible producer or tourism operator inland or on the north Queensland coast to miss out on this assistance.”

For more information contact the Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.