Flooded Gulf gets help from QLD Govt and AgForce

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 31st March 2011

This week Minister for Agriculture, Food and Regional Economies Tim Mulherin, Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan and AgForce President Brent Finlay will visit Karumba, Normanton and Burketown to meet with the local community and discuss recent flood events.

Mr Mulherin said there has been significant flooding throughout the Lower Gulf region since December last year.

“On top of the ordinary wet season the communities of Karumba, Normanton and Burketown were also affected by excessive rainfall following Cyclone Yasi,” Mr Mulherin said.

“Karumba has been isolated for a number of weeks and we know this is proving very difficult for the local community.

“Over two days we will meet with primary producers, small businesses, local government, industry and other members of the community to discuss the impacts of ongoing flooding in the region and the levels of assistance we can provide,” he said.

AgForce president Brent Finlay said the tour was an important opportunity for industry and government to see the seasonal impacts in the Gulf first-hand.

“I thank Minister Mulherin for the opportunity to join him as it is only by getting out on-the-ground that government and industry can deliver the most appropriate outcomes for flooded producers,” Mr Finlay said.

“It is crucial for the agricultural sector to work together through the natural disaster response stage to ensure producers can rebuild their livelihoods to reinvigorate regional communities and businesses.”

Member for Mount Isa Betty Kiernan said the Lower Gulf had experienced severe flooding each wet season since 2008, including extensive flooding in 2009, which saw Karumba cut off by road for about three months.

“We have been working closely with local communities and small businesses to help overcome the impacts of periods of extended isolation due to flooding,” Ms Kiernan said.

“Over the past two years DEEDI has conducted a survey of Karumba, Normanton and Burketown businesses to identify flood related issues, impacts and solutions.

“While there are some issues with communications, there is generally a high level of satisfaction with the systems put in place by the Local Disaster Management Group working with EMQ.

“This week’s trip will be a further opportunity for the Minister and me to speak to locals on the ground about the difficulties they have been experiencing due to isolation and flooding,” she said.