On 2 March 2019 NQLIRA was established as a Non‑Corporate Commonwealth Entity, subject to the requirements of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act).
NQLIRA was put in place by the Prime Minister to provide strategic leadership in response to the catastrophic and unprecedented event impacting North and Far North Queensland between 25 January ‑ 14 February 2019, referred to as the 2019 Monsoon Trough throughout this report. Affected regions experienced widespread flooding, low temperatures and high winds leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of cattle, sheep and goats, degrading pastures and critically impacting the livelihoods and communities of the 11 affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Burdekin, Burke, Carpentaria, Cloncurry, Douglas, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, McKinlay, Richmond, Townsville and Winton.
NQLIRA was on the ground immediately, working with the affected communities and alongside delivery agencies. It also advised Government on how existing and new Commonwealth policies and programs could best contribute to the recovery and reconstruction efforts.
In the 122 days since its establishment, NQLIRA has provided timely, strategic leadership through the co-ordination of the Commonwealth’s recovery efforts to the affected regions. Agency staff worked collaboratively with affected communities, LGAs, the Queensland Government, Commonwealth Government agencies and the not‑for‑profit sector to identify and make available appropriate and effective assistance.
NQLIRA’s purpose is to coordinate and ensure the timely and effective delivery of the Commonwealth’s response to the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough, and advise Government on long‑term recovery and resilience.
Outcome and Programs
For the 2018-19 reporting period, NQLIRA operated as an independent taskforce within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. NQLIRA was not a recipient of a direct budgetary appropriation and, as such, was not subject to any specific Outcome and/or Program under the Commonwealth’s Budget and Reporting Framework.
NQLIRA’s role is to assist with the immediate response, recovery and reconstruction efforts in support of the Queensland communities affected by the 2019 Monsoon Trough.
The functions of the Agency are to:
provide strategic leadership and co-ordination for the Commonwealth’s recovery and reconstruction activities in the flood affected areas of North, Far North and Western Queensland following the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough (25 January – 14 February 2019);
design, develop, consult on and coordinate the delivery of a long‑term plan for the recovery and reconstruction of these areas;
build and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders in these areas to inform recovery and reconstruction priorities;
provide advice to the Prime Minister on how existing and new Commonwealth policies and programs can best contribute to the recovery and reconstruction efforts in these areas;
provide a co-ordination point for information on associated Commonwealth recovery and reconstruction activities;
provide advice to the Prime Minister on matters relevant to the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency; and
undertake other relevant tasks as the Prime Minister may require from time to time.
Key to NQLIRA’s success in the 2018-19 reporting period was the extent to which it effectively worked with and alongside a wide range of other stakeholders - including service providers and governments at all levels - to coordinate the immediate response to the 2019 flood event, as well as laying the foundations for the ongoing recovery of the affected communities.
NQLIRA connected and supported the efforts of a range of Australian Government agencies to ensure a unified, targeted and effective delivery of Commonwealth support and assistance. The agencies involved in informing the immediate recovery and long‑term resilience efforts include:
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
The Department of Agriculture;
The Department of Environment and Energy;
The Department of Health;
The Department of Human Services;
The Department of Infrastructure;
The Department of Regional Development and Cities;
The Department of Social Services, Finance, the Treasury;
The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business;
The Bureau of Meteorology;
Emergency Management Australia.
NQLIRA also partnered with the Queensland Government, affected LGAs and communities to implement current Commonwealth initiatives including:
The Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet;
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries;
The Queensland Department of Environment and Sciences;
The Queensland Department of Health;
The Queensland Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning;
The Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy;
The Queensland Reconstruction Agency (QRA);
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA);
The Shire of Burke;
The Shire of Carpentaria;
The Shire of Cloncurry;
The Shire of McKinlay;
The Shire of Richmond;
The Shire of Flinders;
The Shire of Winton;
The Shire of Douglas;
The Shire of Hinchinbrook;
The Shire of Townsville; and
The Shire of Burdekin.
Building and strengthening these relationships across all levels of government, as well as with communities and the private sector, assisted NQLIRA to gather evidence to inform government, thereby effectively targeting the Commonwealth’s response to the flood event.
At the end of the day, NQLIRA can only succeed through establishing enduring and trustful bonds that foster collaboration with the people, communities and entities connected with this event.
Key Achievements in 2018-19
NQLIRA was successfully established as an Australian Government non‑corporate Commonwealth entity on 2 March 2019 to provide strategic leadership and co-ordination of the Commonwealth’s response to the 2019 flood event.
Within weeks, NQLIRA successfully sourced and deployed a taskforce of skilled and experienced staff, drawing together a workforce with a diverse skill base and expert knowledge.
NQLIRA successfully built working relationships with the affected communities, primary producers, states and local governments to raise awareness of the immediate support available and to gather invaluable information to shape the short and longer term response.
Between 2 March and 30 June 2019, NQLIRA hosted 36 events and individually met and consulted with numerous landholders, local officials, businesses, charities and other stakeholders from flood affected communities across North Queensland.
The CEO and Agency staff met with the Mayors of the 11 of the affected LGAs. It is estimated that Agency staff spent more than a third of the time since the Agency was formed in affected communities. Having a presence in these communities is essential to developing solutions which are locally led, locally understood and locally implemented.
NQLIRA successfully advised the Government on the co‑ordination of the Commonwealth’s response and supported eligible people to access:
Over $80 million in assistance to primary producers via Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants;
$300 million of Restocking, Replanting & On-farm Infrastructure Grants;
Over $9 million in assistance to small businesses and not‑for‑profit organisations via Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants;
Over $100 million in assistance via the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance;
$121 million in assistance provided to the Queensland Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements;
$4 million in assistance to independent schools with significant numbers of students from flood affected areas;
$2.6 million in assistance to support the mental health of communities affected by the floods; and
AgRebuild Loans, through the Regional Investment Corporation, to help flood affected primary producers restock, replant and recover.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 Report on Performance
For the 2018-19 reporting period (2 March to 30 June 2019) NQLIRA operated as a taskforce hosted within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. NQLIRA did not receive a direct budgetary appropriation and did not have any specific financial or non‑financial performance information.
All NQLIRA’s financial and non‑financial performance reporting (for the purpose of section 17AD(c) Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 – Report on Performance) is encompassed within the operations and reporting of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
NQLIRA is led by the Chief Executive Officer, the Hon. Shane L Stone AC QC.
NQLIRA Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
The Honourable Shane L Stone AC QC
Accountable Authority, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 2 March 2019.
Shane Stone is the founding head of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency. Shane is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency and the Accountable Authority of the entity under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. Shane’s appointment to lead NQLIRA represents another significant chapter in a life dedicated to public service.
As the former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory he served in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly for almost 10 years. He had a close working relationship with the NT cattle industry over this time. In 2014 Mr Stone was appointed Chairman of the Northern Australian Advisory Group by then Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He also contributed to the Royal Commission into the Australian Meat Industry in 1982.
Having grown up in Wodonga on the NSW/Victorian border Mr Stone understands the quiet strength of country Australians who work hard to give their families a decent life and look out for each other in the good and not‑so‑good times. He believes a person should be regarded for their deeds and not their possessions, an ethos that has guided him personally and professionally.
As the CEO and Chairman of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Recovery Agency, Shane reports directly to the Prime Minister and is supported by an Advisory Board comprising representatives from the northern cattle industry, affected communities, and local and Federal government.
NQLIRA Advisory Board
The Advisory Board comprises members with on the ground livestock industry experience, as well as experience in government and non‑government organisations. The Board plays a vital role in providing expert advice to NQLIRA.
NQLIRA Advisory Board Members
NQLIRA Advisory Board Members
Tracey Hayes is a former pastoralist, and has spent her lifetime working in the northern beef industry. Tracey is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, a member of the Council for the Order of Australia, a Director on the Board of the Australia Indonesia Institute and a member of the Board of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia. Tracey has been a passionate industry advocate for many years, with a strong interest in agribusiness, agri‑politics and championing women in leadership.
Don Heatley OAM is a fifth generation North Queensland cattle farmer, and is the Chair of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Commission. Don is a passionate and committed advocate for the promotion of Australian agribusiness interests overseas and for investing in the strengthening of domestic agribusiness in developing countries. Don has more than 30 years’ experience promoting the Australian beef industry internationally, including as former chairman of Meat and Livestock Australia and through roles on state livestock councils and the Cattle Council of Australia.
Greg Campbell is the Mayor of Cloncurry Shire Council. Greg and his family also operate a beef cattle business, based on two properties in the McKinlay district. Greg is an active member of the Cloncurry community, and sits on a number of committees in the area. He is Deputy Chair of the North West Regional Roads Group, and an executive committee member of the Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone. Greg also serves as a committee member of the LGAQ Resource Communities Advisory Committee, and is a member of Regional Development Australia Townsville North West.
David Galvin is the former chair of the Australian Livestock Export Corporation (Livecorp) and has extensive experience in the northern pastoral industry, land management, infrastructure and tourism development. David served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) from 2001 to 2012, when the ILC was in the top ten largest cattle producers in Australia. He is an independent Director of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, non‑member Director of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (chair of the Audit and Risk Committee), an Advisory Board Member of Paga Hill Development Company in Papua New Guinea, Managing Director of Tubarao Investments Pty Ltd and on the Executive Committee of the Queensland Livestock Export Association.
Daryl Quinlivan is the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. Daryl is a career public servant who was the Head of Office at the Productivity Commission before his appointment as Secretary of the Department in 2015. Daryl previously worked in the former Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry from 1999 to 2010 as both a Deputy Secretary and First Assistant Secretary. He then joined the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy as a Deputy Secretary before moving to the Productivity Commission in 2012.