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Flood woes force milk 'down the drain'

By William Rollo, Tuesday March 5, 2013 - 13:25 EDT
Audience submitted image
Dumped milk going down the drain at the Velvet Waters Dairy Farm at Nagoorin. - Audience submitted

A central Queensland dairy has dumped about 12,000 litres of milk because of road closures in the Gladstone region.

Heavy rain over the weekend flooded the Boyne River for the third time this year, closing roads.

Leoni Paish runs the Velvet Waters Dairy Farm at Nagoorin in the Boyne Valley.

She says the roads are still closed and the trucks cannot get in.

"You just feel ... hollow and knowing with our milk price drop as well, we're not getting the income that should be there anyway or that was there and then it's insult to injury really," she said.

"With the damages we've sustained, it really puts you in a hard spot.

"We've just flogged our guts out for the last four days and it's all down the drain now.

"We run a very big mortgage - we only bought the property a couple of years ago.

"Repayments on that mortgage as well as the running expenses and now with huge loses of income and huge losses of cattle, huge losses of feed, it's not looking good."

Road problems

Meanwhile, the Gladstone Local Disaster Management Group says continuing showers are causing major problems for road repairs after recent floods.

Some roads around Baffle Creek have washed away, while in Gladstone major thoroughfares including Toolooa Street and Glenlyon Road are littered with potholes.

Coordinator Mark Holmes says drivers should take care.

"We're expecting still showers over the next few days, Tuesday and Wednesday, then easing off at the end of the week and forecasts of up to 10 millimetres," he said.

"Not significant rain in itself, but what it is doing is keeping all the systems primed and just making delays in cleaning up some of the roads we're currently at."

The Gladstone Area Water Board says the Awoonga Dam, near Gladstone, is dropping about two to three centimetres per hour.

Earlier this morning about 1.75 metres of water was spilling over the dam.

Road access to the upstream Boyne Valley is expected to remain closed until the height of the dam drops to 1.5 metres above the spillway.

Board spokesman Gary Larsen says that could happen tomorrow but it could take months for the spilling to stop.

"Based on previous history it will take around six months for the lake level to get down below the 40-metre mark or the spillway level," he said.

"Anything below the 40.3 level is considered to be normal flowing or spilling.

"Dependent on inflows and the level of rainfall that may or may not occur in the catchment area - potentially may be late Wednesday or sometime on Thursday - it would be below that 41.5 based on current rainfall predictions and inflows and lake levels."


© ABC 2013

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