Queensland producers are being urged to prepare for natural disasters to help ensure the safety of family, workers and animals.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said this year’s unpreceded monsoonal floods showed how severely these events could impact the agriculture sector.
“Queensland is the most natural disaster-affected state in this country but even the most resilient of us are tested by these extreme natural disaster events,” Mr Furner said.
“This year, the catastrophic monsoonal floods across the North West heavily impacted the grazing industry and recovery may take years, which we will continue to support.
“Queensland agriculture has also been impacted by cyclones, severe storms and bushfires over the past season, so I’m encouraging agri-businesses across the state to take steps now to minimise the possible impact of future events.”
Mr Furner said that by taking preventative steps early, producers can reduce damage and financial loss resulting from disasters, and maybe save lives.
“The key is to act early and ‘get ready’ which can include photographing assets in their pre-disaster condition, and ensuring records and deeds are stored in a secure place to make things easier and faster during the recovery phase,” Mr Furner said.
“Maintaining drains, contour banks and waterways to limit flooding will help protect crops.
“Past extreme weather events have seen producers themselves being cut off because of water rising more quickly than expected.
“If there is risk of flooding, everyone on the property should be aware of the plan to get to safety and livestock should have access to higher ground.
“I strongly encourage all producers to use the specially-tailored natural disaster guides to help protect their property, business, livestock and crops.”
To view the guides, visit www.business.qld.gov.au and search for ‘natural disasters’ and ‘preparing your animals for natural disasters.
Mr Furner said family pets should also be considered in household or farm emergency plans.
“Pets need to be properly identified and emergency phone numbers kept on hand for the local vet, animal welfare agency and pet information and advisory services,” he said.
“If moving pets to safety, such as with a relative, friends, animal boarding facility or shelter, ensure you provide a supply of food and bowls, a leash and toilet litter or old newspapers. If they are to be left at home, ensure they will be confined in a safe place, preferably inside and under cover, and will have access to water.
“By getting ready now, you can save yourself a lot of heartache after a disaster event and recover faster.”
For further information on cyclone preparations, such as local evacuation routes and public shelter arrangements, phone your local council.
For more information about how to prepare your property or business, visit www.getready.qld.gov.au
For more information on animal welfare during a disaster contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au, the RSPCA, your local council or your veterinarian.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries
The Honourable Mark Furner