Sunday, November 27, 2022

Biggest flood in decades smashes macadamia farmers

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NSW Farmers Association, Media Release, 28 February 2022

Farmers in the Northern Rivers are bracing for even worse flooding after a massive deluge in the region.

Floods

NSW Farmers Lismore Branch Chair and macadamia farmer Warren Elvery said there would be major losses as a result of the flooding, which was the worst he had ever seen.

“There are going to be big losses in the industry in terms of quality and quantity,” Mr Elvery said.

“We had 347mm of rain overnight and all of the work we’ve done building up our soil and getting ready for harvest could all be for nothing.

“I remember the sea of water we had back in 1974 and 2017 – this is far worse than that already and they reckon this rain could hang around a while yet.”

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said hundreds of SES volunteers were working to protect affected communities with flood warnings in place from the Queensland border down to the Mid North Coast and called for urgent relief funds to flow.

“The fury of mother nature that lashed Brisbane in making its way south, claiming lives and damaging property,” Mr Jackson said.

“We are standing by our members who are living in flood-affected communities as the rain continues and we want to remind everyone to stay safe.

“As with last year’s flooding it may be weeks until we understand the full impact of these heavy rains, but our farmers and our regional people are tough and resilient, and they will get through this.”

The flooding comes a year after a similar event wreaked havoc across the region, prompting government assistance that is continuing to flow even now. Declarations of natural disasters would allow government grants and concessional loans to be made available, while additional support for local government will be needed to repair flood-damaged roads, particularly in regional communities. NSW Farmers also sees a need for targeted mental health support, which should be brought online as quickly as possible to complement the work of Lifeline.

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