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Farmers take respite from the River Murray flood – and plan for recovery
Primary producers from up and down the Lower Murray have gathered for a catch-up and debrief in Murray Bridge.
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For an hour or two, there were no more floods to worry about – only friends, neighbours and conversations.
Primary producers from along the Lower Murray have gathered at the Imperial Football Club in Murray Bridge on Friday to talk through their experiences and start to think about how they would recover from this summer’s natural disaster.
Though the stakes for the agricultural industry were high – with most low-land farmers flooded out and those on the high ground suffering through drought-like conditions in the absence of working irrigation systems – the mood among almost 100 people in the room was relatively positive, determined.
One bloke brought a bag of stinking carp to throw at any unfortunate government representative who might dare to claim responsibility for the failure of so many levees along the river, but none emerged.
That’s not to say government agencies and industry associations weren’t present – representatives of SA Power Networks, Wellbeing SA, Primary Industries and Regions SA, the Department for Environment and Water, Rural Business Support, Livestock SA, the SA Dairyfarmers Association, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and Landscape SA were all in the room.
Long Flat farmer Joanne Pfeiffer invited them all to come out and visit people’s properties.
“Have a look at what’s happened to us, and have a look at what … could happen to the four areas that are not inundated,” she said.
“Come at any time – we’ll take you today, after this meeting, if you like, or next week or whenever.
“The impact of what we are living and how we have to manage this … it’s so important that you see.”
Mypolonga Progress Association’s Steve Hein suggested another, more formal meeting about the flood recovery would follow in a couple of weeks.
But for now, it was time to pause, take a breath and talk it out.
Get help: Visit www.sa.gov.au/floods; call 1800 362 361; or visit the emergency relief centre at the Rambler Football Club, Le Messurier Oval, Murray Bridge from 9am-5pm most days, or 10am-6pm Tuesday and Thursday.
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