Queensland still waiting for Water to Recede

By Hari Yellina
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The flooding emergency in NSW and Queensland continues, with numerous people still unaccounted for in the floodwaters, and the threat of further rain in the coming days. Due to severe floods in the state’s southeast, supermarkets across rural Queensland are preparing for fruit and vegetable shortages. Since last week, many facilities in Brisbane that provide goods to major portions of the state have been flooded. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fresh produce could have been lost in the recent floods. Fruitlink, a wholesaler that delivers fresh produce to rural areas of the state, was able to preserve some product from its Rocklea Market warehouse before it was swamped.

Despite the delays, the horticulture organisation Growcom anticipates deliveries to resume by the end of the week. “As broad as this rain has been, we don’t expect shortages of any one item, fruit, or vegetable in the grocery aisle,” says Richard Shannon. Some farmers are seeing major crop loss and are concerned about their livestock’s safety. Warren Elvery, a macadamia grower in northern NSW, described the devastation as “devastating.” “One dairy farmer lost 180 head, and there are beef producers out on horseback bringing the cows in,” Elvery said. Massive downpours at his house in Dalwood, between Lismore and Ballina, resulted in immediate flooding. Elvery, who had intended to harvest next week, estimated that up to 15 people could be involved.

Northern NSW communities, including Lismore and Ballina, are under water, and rivers are reaching their highest levels. The floods have also wreaked havoc on numerous Queensland communities further north. The Queensland fresh produce supply chain is wrestling with how the current weather event would impact the business both short and long term, with the Brisbane Markets flooded. Rain came and floodwaters swelled to overwhelm the centre of the central markets, which processes over 700 million kg of produce worth more than $2 billion, as they did in many other parts of southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.


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