By Ross McInnes, QDO Vice-President
When Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossed the North Queensland coast two weeks ago, it looked almost as through the major dairy regions had dodged a bullet. However, as the system moved inland the true impact of Cyclone Debbie, both positive and negative, become apparent. Many dairy farmers on the Darling Downs welcomed much needed rain while others in the South East corner were inundated by localised flooding events that resulted from the record rainfall.
Major flooding occurred in many catchments in SEQ and Northern New South Wales with the Logan, Tweed and Richmond river systems measuring record flood heights. This resulted in utter devastation for many of our members. Over 30 farms were severely impacted in Scenic Rim and Logan City with most of the damage to crops and fencing.
One of the things that Dairy does very well is pull together in traumatic times. A team effort across the industry organisations of Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, Subtropical Dairy, milk processing companies, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Dairy Australia helps to ensure the immediate welfare of all farmers is addressed and crucial information regarding damage and impact is assessed. This information is extremely important to build a case for disaster relief that agriculture can apply for.
Queensland farms impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie represent some $45 million in GVP. QDO welcomes the announcement by the government to initially activating Category B assistance. The industry will continue to assess the impact of recent events in order to activate Category C assistance.
The immediate damage bill looks to be in excess of $4 million on the dairy industry. It will be a tough road ahead with many lingering production impacts and feed gaps resulting from the floods.
QDO is working closely with the Scenic Rim Regional Council and local State member for Beaudesert Jon Krause to get assistance through organisations such as BlazeAid to help with the restoration and recovery works across farms.
You are not going through this alone, QDO is here and available to help Queensland dairy farmers, just like it has in the past.