News

Grim cost of floods

ROAD TOLL: Peter Buchanan stands “in” one of his main on-farm road culverts destroyed by floodwaters last week.
ROAD TOLL: Peter Buchanan stands “in” one of his main on-farm road culverts destroyed by floodwaters last week. Renee Pilcher

GYMPIE farmers were yesterday still counting the cost of the torrential rain that created a raging inland sea at Goomboorian last week and left a man dead at Glenwood.

Crop, fence, stock and productivity losses, farm infrastructure damage and road washouts in the Mary Valley, Bauple and Goomboorian were another body blow for many rural producers already surviving on the thinnest of profit margins.

The timing of the floods, however, may have spared smallcrop growers from complete disaster, with many winter crops not yet in the ground.

The Buchanan family of Goomboorian had planted a small part of their winter bean crop and lost every plant to the huge volume of water that fell from the sky - 400ml - most of which fell in a five-hour period on Monday morning.

Peter Buchanan has lived at Goomboorian for six decades and said he had never seen anything like the speed and level of the water that tore through the district.

He is facing a $50,000 flood-damage bill on his three properties where a small inland tsunami destroyed roads, took out fences and gutted culverts, making one property inaccessible.

"I am not suggesting we are Grantham or anything like that but (this damage) gives you some idea of the force of the water that moved through here."

Sixteen per cent of the Buchanan's 285ha pineapple farm on Tinana Rd is crisscrossed with drainage, permanent concrete drains and roadways.

Much of that was either washed away or severely damaged in the flash flooding.

Yesterday, an excavator repairing some of the drains half disappeared into quicksand "ooze" in the sandy soil and had to be retrieved with a bulldozer.

"The real problem is the profit margin for most farmers these days is so thin there is no room for error," Mr Buchanan said.

On the Mary River, 60 cattle were swept away from one dairy farm in the first flood this year, though all but three were retrieved. Goomong producer John Cochrane said the three missing beasts alone represented a loss of at least $6000 to that farmer.

Mr Cochrane lost no stock but he estimated Gympie dairy farmers had lost at least 15% of their production over the two weeks book-ended by the floods.

"Every time I lose a day's milking I lose $10,000," he said.

His milking herd is the largest in the region.

"Production drops at least 20% when it's that wet and it takes two weeks to get it back."

Some macadamia farmers, who are due to harvest, suffered huge nut losses in the rain and strong winds.

Bauple grower Yolande Bromet said it was the worst flooding on her farm she had ever seen.

For information on flood assistance, phone DEEDI on 13 25 23. Anyone suffering hardship as a result of the floods can contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349.

Gympie Times

Topics:  clean-up cost downpour flooding



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

You're too predicta-Bill

Nothing better describes Bill Shorten than his response to the 11th hour result concerning the Backpackers Tax, according to Colin Claridge.

Cynical and predictable, that's what Colin thinks of Labor

Stuck for Secret Santa ideas? There are plenty in Gymipie

LOVING THE LOCALS: Euphoria owner Lynn Wake has a number of secret Santa ideas.

Scott answers the age-old question: What to buy for secret Santa?

The Kandanga Hotel comes back from the ashes

TAKING SHAPE: Doug Greensill standing where the start of the new Kandanga pub will stand.

A year after the fire, the new Kandanga Hotel takes shape.

Local Partners

End-of-year break-up for OWN

GUNABUL Homestead was the place to be for 62 members of the Older Women's Network on December 1.


Your definitive Gympie guide to school holiday fun

HANDS ON: Get the chance to create your own clay animals at the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Check out the amazing things to do over the school holidays.

GARAGE SALES: Where to grab a bargain this weekend

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Take a look at these treasure troves

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

The apple and the worm

Gympie journalist Arthur Gorrie.

Progress leaps along, so let's look first

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!