The potential for catastrophe across a large proportion of the cattle industry has seen AgForce establish a crisis management team to ensure flood and rain affected producers receive the support they need.
The immediate focus for many is for fodder to be airlifted to isolated cattle, many of which are weakened by years of drought.
The newly established crisis management team will meet daily with the aim to move issues up to the highest levels of Government to ensure situations are quickly recognised, responded to, and to ensure no areas are overlooked.
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin says the team will ensure the interests of members are front and centre.
“We must ensure the breadth of the recovery area is sufficient to include all affected producers across the northern half of Queensland, especially as much of the focus will be on the residents of Townsville and the urban centres.”
Although it was too early for a precise estimate of the financial cost from livestock losses and damage to property and equipment, it was likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“Our first priority is talking to AgForce members, which represent more than 50% of the cattle industry in Queensland, to determine the scale of the disaster and the sort of resources and services they will need to get through the next few weeks.”
“We will also be reaching out to local governments across the region, which whom we have excellent working relationships, to see if there is anything we can do to help.”
Producers who need fodder are encouraged to contact AgForce or their Local Disaster Management Group, via their local Council.
Mr Guerin says the impact of the floods had been exacerbated by the drought conditions which had existed in those areas until a few days ago.
“Stock losses will be much higher than normal, because drought-weakened cattle are more susceptible to being caught and drowned in floodwaters or dying of exposure in the wet, cold winds.”