Farmers lose millions in flooding

BARALABA farmer John Lawson has not missed the irony of his property being called Dirtwater, with $500,000 of his machinery, and nearly 700 hectares of his land, currently under water.

He said: “Right now, I have four Toyotas, two bulldozers, a crane, and Kenworth truck, tractors and scrapers all under 20 feet of water.

“And I am not the only fella, I’m just one of many - I know people who may well have lost up to $10 million in lost machinery and crop damage.

“It leaves a real bad taste in your mouth, and the government hasn’t been any help to anyone outside of the towns - I heard that Premier Bligh had allocated $1 million to the disaster relief fund – what a joke, I understand they’re spending $4 million on fireworks, a celebration.

“We certainly aren’t celebrating. The banks will still want to be paid, and to be honest, we’ve had a bugger of a year.

“We were flooded in February, and then when we finally needed rain at the start of the winter plant, we had to irrigate to get through, then we were ready to harvest, and I was going to harvest 2000 round bales of oats, and I could only harvest 50 bales.

“That’s 99% of my crop that had to be slashed and ploughed back in.

“This was going to be the best year in four or five years, and now it’s just become a bloody disaster.

“There hasn’t been a flood this bad since 1954 for us.”

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