The Bushfire Recovery and Resilience in Horticulture Industry – Central Queensland Pilot Project was an initiative of Growcom, Queensland’s peak industry body for horticulture. The intention of the project was to support recovery, preparedness and long-term resilience of horticulture growers in Livingstone Shire Council (LSC), to increasing threats of bushfire.
Livingstone Shire Council (LSC) supports a vibrant, expanding $13.5M commercial horticulture industry; in November 2019 the shire was seriously impacted by bushfires causing immediate losses of infrastructure (irrigation, netting and farm equipment) and long term income losses as a result of fire and smoke-damaged crops. The immediate financial costs to the horticulture industry alone was estimated to be upwards of $10M.
Coupled with previous natural disasters – Tropical Cyclones Marcia/Oswald – the bushfires compounded impacts of local financial hardship, dependence on government assistance, mental stress and reduced resilience to future disasters.
The intended outcomes of the Bushfire Recovery and Resilience in Horticulture Industry – Central Queensland Pilot Project were:
- a partnership-based approach between industry, local government, horticulture growers and community groups
- high level of supportive communication and engagement with the horticulture industry to support capacity building and preparedness so that the horticulture industry is better equipped to manage risk of bushfire and/or recover quickly from bushfire; and
- sharing of “lessons learned” and existing resources between other bushfire impacted horticulture regions in Queensland (Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, North/South Burnett) and/or interstate.
The following resources were developed under the project:
HORTICULTURE BUSHFIRE TOOLKIT
Your glovebox guide to bushfire preparedness specific to orchardists and other horticulture crops.
The following case studies were developed featuring different approaches adopted by horticultural growers impacted by the Cobraball bushfire:
- Central Queensland bushfire recovery in lychee orchards (PDF)
- Central Queensland bushfire recovery in mangoes (PDF)
VIDEO CASE STUDIES
Special thanks to the team at There’s An Elephant In My Paddock – An agricultural podcast that brings together farmers, scientists, consumers, industry and thought leaders to try and answer those tricky but crucial questions everyone else is avoiding.