In the last couple of weeks Queensland horticultural growers have experienced two very different and frightening impacts. The predicted drier than average (whatever that means) weather conditions have hit early and hard.
From fires affecting large areas of the state to last weekend’s mini tornado that cut a swathe through the Lockyer Valley, growers, their workers, and communities are either breathing a sigh of relief of their close call or dealing with devastating consequences. At times there was only a fence line in it!
As one conversation revealed, concern rests not only with the growers but the many hundreds of workers and their families who may now not have a job, a house and who require immediate assistance and pastoral care. And, after a year or more of terrible prices, business viability and the buffer necessary for a ‘rainy day’ and to weather such events just isn’t there anymore.
One of the many things we learnt from the public during the Ekka was that half of them, although proud of growers and their wonderful fresh, green, and clean produce, did not know or understand the big risks faced and the hard work involved in growing our food. The other half did know. All of them cared – we care.
What a humbling thought that people we don’t know work very hard, in most cases don’t take a wage and take big risks to provide food for us to eat. They are true heroes and deserve a medal but never expect anything in return except support for a fair price and a fair go.
While it might be the last thing on any grower’s mind right now, we are encouraging all those affected to complete the DAF Natural Disaster Impact Survey. And, as we all head further into this fire and storm season, it pays to:
- Get prepared.
- Record impact (if any).
- Find and access a support service for assistance if impacted.
Services for RECOVERY:
- Complete the DAF Natural Disaster Impact Survey: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a65512900348401a812e57d743e4c104
- QRIDA: www.qrida.qld.gov.au/primary-producers
- Community Recovery Hotline – 1800 173 349 (open 24 hours)
- Rural Financial Counselling Service – 1300 771 741
- WorkSafe Qld: www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/hazards/workplace-hazards/dangers-in-your-workplace/storms-and-floods
- Employment entitlements during natural disasters and emergencies: www.fairwork.gov.au/tools-and-resources/fact-sheets/rights-and-obligations/employment-entitlements-during-natural-disasters-and-emergencies
Stay Safe everyone.