Jim and Sandra Smith have been farming cattle and sheep in Winton all their lives. Having already destocked due to the drought, they lost a third of their animals in the February flood event.
“Every cattle paddock in the district was washed out – there were gullies where there were no gullies before,” Jim said. And while support from their neighbours has kept their spirits up, they are still coming to grips with how much damage was done.
Rachel Bock from the Rural Financial Counselling Service North Queensland helped the Smiths to apply for the $75,000 grant to cover some of their fencing repair and stock replacement costs. They've since been busy getting on with repairing and restocking, and they're happy to have a wool clip to sell this year.
“It was a great help – we probably wouldn’t be here today without it.”
In October 2020 the Australian Government released After the flood: A strategy for long-term recovery. The Strategy was developed by the National Drought and Flood Agency, with and for communities affected by the 2019 North Queensland flood event. This blueprint for the region’s future can be used by anyone with a stake in its long-term prosperity. You can read more about it here.