NSW COPS A DRENCHING
At the time of going to print, residents, business owners and producers across New South Wales were still taking in the impact of a ‘one-in-100-year’ flood.
As average monthly rainfall totals were smashed, floodwaters swept through claiming property, infrastructure and, in the worst case, life.
Banana growers on the Mid North Coast and in the Northern Rivers, in some cases, were only just starting to get back on-farm to assess damage. While any crop loss is devastating, growers were also expecting roads, crossings and access points to be potential immediate problems. On top of that, growing country in subtropical regions can be prone to land slips and erosion.
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council was expecting to hear more from growers in the days after Australian Bananas magazine was published and encouraged any affected to reach out by contacting email@example.com or 07 3278 4786.
Any information received can help the ABGC inform relevant authorities about the extent of damage and assistance required.
Where to get help
• If you were affected by the severe weather, please fill out a natural disaster damage survey (via www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or search Primary Industries Natural Disaster Survey). This helps DPI determine the scale severity of the impact. You can also speak to NSW Department of Primary Industries Industry Development Officer, Tom Flanagan, who can assist this process: 0437 654 633 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• Primary producers recovering from the impacts of floods could be eligible for Special Disaster Grants of up to $75,000. Details of eligibility and how to apply were not available at time of print, but will be shared via ABGC communications.
• View declared natural disasters and assistance available here: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/ disaster-assistance/declared-natural-disasters
• Find more information about the flooding here: https://www.horticulture.com.au/growers/ flood-information/
• For more information on financial assistance, phone Disaster Customer Care Service at Service NSW on 13 77 88 or online via www. service.nsw.gov.au
GROWERS ESCAPE MAJOR DAMAGE IN CARNARVON
Flood mitigation levies installed after the 2010/11 floods in Carnarvon spared most growers from significant damage earlier this year.
The Gascoyne River peaked at approximately 7.1m on February 6, but roads heading south remained open and power was restored to most properties within two days.
The same process took more than a week in 2010. The Sweeter Banana Co-Operative packing shed was not affected and growers were able to get back to harvesting soon after the river began to recede. The flood and river flows have guaranteed a fantastic fresh water supply for the next two years.