Article by: Hari Yellina
The flood damage to agriculture is still being calculated, but it is expected to be in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.” Floods have wreaked havoc on industries ranging from cane to grain, red meat to horticulture in the eastern states. Ten meat processing facilities, which produce a third of the country’s meat and staff 7000 people, have been forced to close, while entire dairy herds have been swept away, according to reports.
On Friday, Minister of Emergency Response Bridget McKenzie convened a roundtable with agriculture representatives to determine and coordinate the sector’s response goals. Farmers were given fodder drops, access to veterinarians, and infrastructural access to allow them to return to their holdings to solve animal welfare issues. The agriculture sector has been “seriously damaged,” according to National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Mahar. He stated, “We’re still counting the cost, but it’ll be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.” “When it’s safe, we’ve sought fast admission back into those areas so people can look after the animals.” “In order to get people back to their homes, we’ll need access to roads and infrastructure.” It has to be a top priority right now.”
Regional communities, according to Mr Mahar, require access to skills and resources during the recovery phase. “We need people in those communities who can help manage and rebuild,” he stated. “What do you think would happen if you have people who wish to live among the gum trees? Their house is washed away in the river, and they blame the government “The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mr Stone as saying. Senator McKenzie remained tight-lipped about Mr Stone’s remarks, refusing to say whether she agreed with them.
Senator McKenzie stated, “The issue over where we choose to reside is not a new one….a it’s topic of dialogue that comes up after every single catastrophic disaster.” Food drops for isolated areas have begun, with the first shipment arriving in Casino and being distributed to residents in the Lismore area. Senator McKenzie explained, “There’s no caviar on these drops; they’re absolutely around water and important food support for individuals in need.”