Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Minister seeking federal help for citrus growers

By Eric Tlozek, Tuesday February 5, 2013 - 08:18 EDT
ABC image
Citrus farmer Ken Roth's orchard near Gayndah has been all but wiped out. - ABC

Citrus growers in the Burnett region of Queensland's southern inland will ask the State Agriculture Minister for urgent help when he pays them a visit today.

Growers in Gayndah and Mundubbera have been devastated by the January floods.

Citrus consultant Brian Gallagher says any recovery will take a long time.

"There's been huge infrastructure damage, a lot of people have lost pumps, a lot of people have lost trees, a lot of people have had trees pushed over," he said.

Queensland Agriculture Minister John McVeigh will meet farmers and industry representatives in the North Burnett today.

He says they need help quickly.

"For many of them, they will want to be irrigating again within weeks, given the nature of the crop."

The State Government has asked the Commonwealth to urgently increase relief payments to affected farmers.

Mr McVeigh says citrus growers were already suffering before they were hammered by the floods and their need has never been greater.

"The citrus industry, we've got to remember in this part of the state did take a hit with hailstorms prior to Christmas," he said.

"Obviously to face up again to this exceptional event has done significant damage."

The Australian Citrus Growers Association says every property in the Bundaberg and Central Burnett districts - about a third of the industry in Queensland - has been affected.

Association CEO Judith Damiani says about $10 million worth of crops have been lost.

She says local producers still face competition from importers.

"In terms of supporting the flood-affected Queensland growers we're urging everyone just to buy Australian lemons, and look out for Australian mandarins when they hit the shelves in six weeks time," she said.

"Help affected farmers by buying Australian citrus."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Top End residents could be waiting until Christmas for a bit of rain relief

18:43 EDT

Top End residents are unlikely to be relieved of the oppressive hot and humid build up conditions until Christmas, because the rain-bringing La NiƱa weather pattern is unlikely to eventuate in coming months, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.

One dead after Mt Warning campers struck by lightning, rescue operation underway

15:52 EDT

An international tourist has died and a woman has been injured after being hit by lightning while camping at Mt Warning, on the NSW north coast, police say.

Hot and stormy start to summer in NSW

15:50 EDT

The opening week of summer has been a hot and thundery mix in New South Wales and there is more to come.