Crop loss heartbreak
Citrus farmers in crisis
DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney had no answers for the distraught primary producers of the North Burnett.
Meeting in Gayndah on Wednesday, he heard the immense losses suffered by citrus growers.
Citrus farmer Megan Roth said on 40.5 hectares (100 acres) of land, 60% of the trees were gone.
“We had 100% loss from the hail storm in December, so we had no crop anyway. Now we have no trees. How do you recover from that?” she said.
“This is our life that we’ve spent millions of dollars on.
“I don’t know if we can care enough to keep it going.”
Secretary of the Gayndah and District Fruit Growers Association Judy Shepherd said the damage was far worse than the floods of 2010/11.
“Take 2010/11 and add 20%,” she said.
“These are crop losses you can’t recover and you never will. You can’t put a 15-yearold tree back in the ground.
“We’re living in third world conditions.”
One of the main concerns was supermarkets looking overseas to keep prices low.
“They are already sourcing produce from overseas,” Mrs Shepherd said.
“They are taking advantage of a disaster. We need Coles and Woolies to put their money where their mouth is and support local producers.”
Mr Seeney said the losses suffered were heartbreaking, but he had no immediate answers.
“We know the enormity of the task,” he said.
“Nomatter how big the problem is we have to take it one step at a time.”
DESTRUCTION: This orchard on Reids Creek was wiped out.