Farmers across NSW are beginning to assess their livestock and property losses as the state’s flood emergency continues.
- Agriculture industries from the Mid-North Coast to the Hunter have been impacted by flooding
- People are being urged not to self-assess the damage and to contact Centrelink
- The NSW Farmers’ Association launches a flood appeal through its Natural Disaster Relief Fund
Hundreds of millimetres of rain has fallen in some areas, breaking records and causing evacuations in some areas.
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Mondrook farmer Peter Bowie said he had lost 180 cows and a house at his property on the Mid-North Coast.
“The cattle are worth as much as $360,000 in the current market, so losing the house in the floodwater was pretty secondary,” he said.
Linda Wagner said flooding at her property near Wauchope was five metres higher than what they had experienced before.
“The rain meant I was cut off from a lot of my horses as the water was lapping at their yard,” she said.
“People came out from Port Macquarie to get my horses to safety at the showground.
“I am one of the lucky ones though, as other people have lost their horses and cattle, it’s all just happened so quickly.”
Flood impact widespread
Disaster recovery officer Simon Oliver, from the Department of Primary Industries, said there have been major impacts to a range of agricultural industries from the Mid-North Coast through to the Hunter.
“There has been pasture inundation leaving fences underwater, and stock washed away or stranded in water,” Mr Oliver said.
“Given the inundation of rain, it’s been difficult to get proper intelligence on stock losses and damage.
Assistance being offered
Federal Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud has urged flood-affected people not to self-assess, but to contact Centrelink to learn about what assistance they might be entitled to.
Mr Littleproud said the number of livestock lost in flooding over the weekend would be assessed when floodwater receded.
“Not just for primary producers for small businesses and individuals impacted by this event.”
The NSW Farmers’ Association has also launched a flood appeal through its Natural Disaster Relief Fund.
It will provide affected primary producers access to financial assistance, goods or services to help farms to continue to operate.
“The extent of flood damage won’t be known for some time but we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to assist farmers to recover from the extensive damage,” NSW Farmers’ chief executive Pete Arkle said.
Flooding risk spreads
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were now new areas of concern, with weather warnings being issued for the Illawarra and South Coast.
“I want to stress to the community the New South Wales government is taking a very holistic approach. All of our agencies are working together,” she said.
“I just want to say to everybody across the state who is currently living in fear and anxiety, all of us are thinking of you, some communities battered by the bushfires are now being battered by the floods and deep drought prior to that.”