Farmers affected by Shoalwater expansion given counselling
THE Palaszczuk Government has asked Relationships Australia Queensland to provide counselling to landholders affected by the proposed expansion of the Shoalwater Bay military training facility.
Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said individuals and families affected by the Commonwealth Government's proposed land acquisition will be able to take advantage of counselling support from Monday.
"Many of the areas earmarked for the acquisition are working cattle stations that have been held and managed by families for multiple generations," Ms Fentiman said.
"A number of families have expressed a desire not to leave their family homes and this is obviously a very emotional time for them.
"This is why it's vital that we provide emotional support to help landholders as they face uncertainty into the future."
Mirani MP Jim Pearce said as many as 50 families, property owners, lease holders and business owners in and around Marlborough, Ogmore and Stanage will be able to access support.
"I've got a close association with the land and when these situations arise, it's only right that government is willing to provide support," he said.
"That's why I am so pleased we are taking action to give people the help they need."
Minister for Agriculture Bill Byrne said it was clear that the threat of losing their land and their livelihood has taken a considerable emotional toll.
"This is not only hurting graziers and their families, but many business owners in communities like Marlborough who are worried that it will be the end of their town," he said.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said outreach services were especially important for the Marlborough community, because it was a two-hour return journey from Rockhampton.
"I know from a personal experience that time is of the essence when you're talking about anxiety and depression, so I thank the Minister for Communities and the Department of Communities for being able to provide this support so quickly," she said.