Skip to main content

Continued rainfall and extreme weather has resulted in flooding and waterlogged farms across the east coast.

A survey of the state’s flood-affected farmers in NSW has found significant losses across many regions, leading to massive costs as most of the damage is uninsurable.

More than two-thirds of respondents to the NSW Farmers Flood Impacts survey were experiencing flooding for their second year in a row.

NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said the financial impact was set to be enormous, with harvesting efforts delayed by several weeks as floodwater continued to wreak havoc on roads and paddocks.

“We know these farms are homes, not just workplaces, and having to deal with the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of living through this ongoing cycle of natural disasters is challenging.

“When you consider farming has been a pretty expensive operation over the past year, and now so much of the food and fibre we have grown has been destroyed or damaged, it’s really tough from both a personal and a business standpoint.”

More than half of the state’s local government areas were subject to natural disaster declarations after intense rain and flooding, and most roads were either heavily potholed or closed in parts.

This was having a major impact not only on the movement of trucks and machinery, but also people trying to get about their communities.

Mr Martin said many respondents reported on-farm roads, fences, bridges and culverts would also need to be replaced, with many estimating initial repair bills upwards of $100,000.

“Unfortunately this disaster is not over yet, but we know this year will go down in history not just as one of the worst widespread flooding events we’ve seen,” Mr Martin said.

“A lot of this flood damage cannot be insured against, and we’ll be feeling the impact well into next year in terms of missing the summer sowing window because the ground is still so wet.

“With so many people reporting increased stress and mental health impacts, I’d urge everyone to keep in touch with neighbours. Wellbeing and health support is available, so don’t struggle through this on your own.”

The Victorian state government estimates about 12,000 farming properties have been affected and that 5,000 kilometres of fencing has been damaged and 50,000 tonnes of hay or silage destroyed.

National Farmers Federation president Fiona SImson said the impact would be felt by many.

“These losses are significant and much of the damage isn’t covered by insurance. We are now also facing serious supply chain issues that will further exacerbate the pain our sector is feeling.”

Recovery grants in NSW are available up to $75,000 for primary producers.

Victoria’s Primary Producer Flood Relief Program has a one-off $10,000 payment and Primary Producer Recovery Grants grants of up to $75,000

Australian Government National Emergency Management Agency host an interactive map on disaster-affected Local Government Areas, including relief and recovery support here: