Thursday, 17 February 2011 09:58

Help needed as farmers recover

Written by 

IMAGES COMING from Queensland have been horrific. There is no other way to describe them.

The stories of local residents losing everything – from a lifetime of possessions and memories in a flood-affected house, to livestock washed away down the river – can reduce you to tears.


Then you see and hear of the way communities have banded together to try and prevent even a small amount of damage, or prepare for the rebuilding process.

It is these people who will require assistance and goodwill for a rebuilding process that will take years.

Politicians, particularly the Labour variety, are not renowned for bending over backwards to help the country’s primary producers.

However, it’s good to see Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Prime Minister Julia Gillard acknowledge the long road of recovery ahead for Queensland farmers by providing grants of up to $25,000.

Sure, it’s the least they can do to help recovery of an industry that drives the national economy, but they’ve done it.

It’s now paramount for both governments to ensure the money and help can be accessed quickly. The last thing farmers who have lost everything need are requests for business records or receipts, which will have been literally washed away.

The Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation (QDO) will work with the Government to ensure farmers can receive assistance and support services as quickly as possible.

QDO staff were evacuating their Brisbane premises at the last possible minute as the flood waters approached to ensure they had all information necessary to help the State’s farmers.

The floods have affected a significant proportion of the State’s dairy farmers and have already caused tens of millions worth of losses and costs to the industry through damage and the inability to get milk from farms to be processed.

Unfortunately, financial losses will rise as the flooding increases and the extent of the damage is finally realised.

The dairy industry has initiated a recovery plan and will work with Government, processors and other industry partners to assist the recovery.

It’s the time for these long-term sparring partners to come together for the common good. It’s incredible, and sad, to think that it takes something like this for supermarkets and the processing sector to realise how much they depend on farmers.

They must work with the dairy community over the next few years as it gets back on its feet. It will get there, but it will also need help along the way.


More like this

Pedigree and performance pays

THE foundations of a sustainable dairy enterprise for Darling Downs, Queensland,  farmers Steve and Jenny McCarthy have been built on more than 70 years of improved Jersey genetics.

Reform needed to restore trust

EDITORIAL: IN 2014, industry stakeholders from across the supply chain gathered to outline a vision for the industry to 2025. The statement reads that the industry will be innovative; responsible; preferred; unified and valued.

Actions speak louder than buzz words

FUTURE Proofing. Building resilience. Sustainability. We live in an age of industry buzz words, public scrutiny, a changing climate and increased market volatility and it’s enough to make anyone want to kick the boots and have a good lie down.

More from this category

Milking It...

A rod for their back

A shortage of labour is a bugbear for most farmers, but how many would think this would be a problem on a prison farm?

Help needed as farmers recover

IMAGES COMING from Queensland have been horrific. There is no other way to describe them.

The stories of local residents losing everything – from a lifetime of possessions and memories in a flood-affected house, to livestock washed away down the river – can reduce you to tears.

China and India will shape global market


DEVELOPMENTS OVER the last 12 months have changed Rabobank’s view on the likely role of China and India in the world marketplace through to 2014.

Long advocates of the likely self-sufficiency of these markets, Rabobank now believes that China faces a structural market deficit that will be difficult to erode in coming years.

GENOMICS HAS hit the dairy breeding industry by storm.

During the past couple of years, we have gone from almost no application of genomic/genetic marker results in breeding programs to widespread use of genomics.

THERE'S NEVER been a more important time for the Federal Government to look at the big picture when preparing policy.

A NEW report on progress of the Commonwealth water buyback for the Murray Darling indicates that the two tender rounds that were held in Queensland's Lower Balonne have been undersubscribed, leaving most of the budget of $140 million unspent.

The new milk season looms as a period of consolidation for most Australian farmers but we are starting to see a concerning divergence of fortunes between those in south eastern Australia and those in Queensland, northern NSW and Western Australia.

WORKING WITH teams both sides of the Tasman enables me to see various approaches to getting the best out of people. So I'm thinking about teamwork, in particular the merits of different leadership styles.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.\nBasic HTML code is allowed.

» Get social

When butter and chocolate collide

TWO New Zealand companies Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers have teamed up to deliver what must be every dairy lover’s dream: chocolate butter.

» E-Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required