Cyclone Debbie's $6 million impact on dairy

In late March 2017, Ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie brought major and record breaking flooding across two parts of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

The worst affected areas for the dairy industry have been Scenic Rim Regional Council and Logan City Council. In some cases, dairy farms were totally inundated with flood water causing major impacts including animal loss, herd health issues, decrease in milk production and damage to farm infrastructure. A number of farmers were isolated by flood water and debris and are still without access to a main-power supply.

As a comparison to recent flooding events in 2011 and 2013, it is anticipated that the cost to the farming industry in South East Queensland will be in excess of $6 million. The full extent of impacts on individual farms will take some weeks to accurately assess, particularly given the time required to review what can be salvaged.

According to initial assessments by QDO, more than 50 farms in the Scenic Rim have been adversely affected, 16 of which have suffered major to severe impacts. Additionally, five farms in Logan City and two farms on the Gold Coast have been affected by the disaster. There are a number of farms along the Condamine and Mulgowie region that have also been affected.

These figures have been extrapolated from impact survey results as recent as Monday 10 April and account for 60% of dairy farms in flood affected regions.

So far major damages assessed have included: more than $300,000 in losses to equipment including pumps, tractors, irrigation equipment; more than 200 hectares and 400 hectares of pasture lost; 121 km of fencing destroyed; more than 10 km of internal laneways damaged; more than 400 round bales hay lost; and the loss of 11 animals.

QDO will continue to touch base with farmers in Central Queensland that were impacted to assess the damage and advocate for any additional support as determined following assessment.