Five North West Queensland mayors gathered in Richmond Tuesday to write a grazier compensation document for the Prime Minister.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison contacted the local mayors from Cloncurry, McKinlay, Winton, Flinders and Richmond shires to devise a document in support of their local graziers and cattle industry with stock losses in excess of 300,000 head expected.
Richmond Shire Council mayor, John Wharton, was hoping the Prime Minister would announce further compensation for cattle producers affected by flooding in the North West.
“I have been saying since the disaster that we need a full compensation because without the cattle in this country you’ve got no transport operators, no helicopter pilots and no local food stores getting bulk orders – it is very serious and the economies of these towns rely on the cattle industry,” Cr Wharton said.
“We have lost a lot of cattle – 98 percent of rates in these shires are paid by the cattle industry and we need to make sure the industry is banging away again.”
Cr Wharton said the five mayors met in Richmond to put together a document to send to the PM within 24 hours of the meeting.
“This situation is really bad because people have no product to sell for to to three years. So we need to get the money back to them so they can restock and get back into business,” he said.
Mr Wharton said while the Category D funding already announced by the Federal and State Governments was welcomed, more help was needed.
“The best thing for anyone’s mental attitude is to have money in their pockets, a safe home and community going forward and make sure their children are safe; and that is what all the mayors are trying to achieve now,” he said.
The country has started to dry up around the Richmond shire with the river systems having dropped significantly.
Mr Wharton said in the past 100 years they had no record of any rainfall as significant as this weather event.
“We had a disaster as everyone knows, its terrible disaster – and this has never ever happened in the history of any property around the region,” he said.
“We have been in constant communication with the Prime Minister and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk since this disaster occurred.
“We’ve had great support from both state and federal governments – they have provided everything we have asked for so we are very happy with the support.”
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