Cloncurry producer Jane McMillan’s emotional video talking about the extent of the North West Queensland stock loss crisis has gone viral and been shared widely thanks to influential Facebook group Who Got the Rain.
Ms McMillan, a former Cloncurry deputy mayor and acting mayor, was visibly moved as she spoke directly to camera saying she lived on a cattle property (Corella Park) outside Cloncurry.
“In the last week we’ve had 620mms of rain at home which is not the biggest rainfall but it is a significant rainfall,” Ms McMillan said.
“We had a low sittting above us and it just dumped rain every day for the last week.”
Ms McMillan said the rain had led to a natural disaster.
“Julia Creek and Richmond have had huge cattle losses, (but) it is not only the cattle losses, it’s the horses, it’s the sheep, it’s the roos, it’s the emus,” she said.
“They are all dying and they are dying from either drowning in the floodwaters or they are dying from the cold winds.”
Ms McMillan said the wind was reaching 50kph winds while temperatures dropped to 19 degrees so the animals were standing there shivering.
“We’d love to drop fodder to them but if we drop fodder it’s going to land in the water or get wet on the way so we can’t get to them,” she said.
“It’s still raining, it’s dangerous for the helicopters so I don’t know how we are going to come out of this.”
Ms McMillan said some people had lost everything.
“It’s probably 40 to 50 per cent (losses) for us but we have friends who have lost everything,” she said.
“We’ve got families who don’t know what is going to happen next – they’ve lost their income for the next three years so we can’t pay the banks back.”
Ms McMillan said they needed Australia, the government and the banks to back them.
“We’re losing an industry here and we need to fight to survive,” she said.
“So we encourage everyone to get on board and back us.”
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