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Fodder in the Flood: ABA and AgForce Disagree

11 February 2009

AUSTRALIA - Australian Beef Association Chairman Mr Brad Bellinger has deemed comments by AgForce on the availability of fodder delivery as 'irresponsible', but AgForce say they are in search of a more practical solution.

"Executive Committee Member of Cattle Council and AgForce spokesman Peter Hall's comments amount to a poorly concealed attempt to disguise the fact that AgForce has sat on their hands on this very important animal welfare and property viability issue", said the ABA in a press release. The ABA has immediately supported Mr John Nelson of Cowan Downs requests for DPI assistance through widely distributing graphic pictures of hungry, stranded stock, plus sending an urgent letter to Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries Tim Mulherin.

However, AgForce acting CEO Andrew Freeman said a Joint State-Commonwealth Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements activates QRAA concessional loans of up to $250,000 at a four per cent interest rate and freight subsidies up to 50 per cent of costs to a combined maximum of $5000 for transport of emergency fodder, building and fencing materials, machinery and equipment, water, and animals purchased for restocking.

“Through our internal communication network, we have asked any members seeking assistance to contact Rob Johnston in the Brisbane office on 3236 3100 or 0427 967 500,” Mr Freeman said.

“Consideration is being given to fodder drops where hay may be available close to flooded areas but the sheer scale of flooding would make the logistics of fodder drops extremely difficult.

Mr Freeman said resources required can be mobilised and the lead agency to assist with animal welfare concerns is the Department of Primary Industries. Beyond this immediate need, AgForce is looking at other relief during the recovery period.

He said regional infrastructure in the north-west will be severely damaged and assistance above and beyond that normally required will be needed. Wet roads need a long period to restore structurally to prevent even more damage being done.

“For many this monsoon rain has been very welcome, but for some the recent falls on top of the floodwaters have turned into a very significant problem”, said Mr Freeman.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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