Producers the best flood monitoring system we have

On the road heading towards Goomeri in the recent flood event. Picture: Contributed

By AgForce CEO Michael Guerin

The past few weeks have highlighted what a land of extremes Australia is.

While the end of 2021 saw AgForce welcoming the State Government’s long-awaited launch of its new drought programs for producers affected by decade-long drought, catastrophic flooding throughout the State, most recently in the Wide Bay and Somerset regions, has put lives, property, and livestock at risk.

It’s why AgForce has stood up its crisis management response team, engaging strongly with Government to ensure we get the right services to the right people in the right places.

While monitoring sites from the Bureau of Meteorology can record rainfall information – like the extreme total of more than 650mm at Marodian last Friday night – along water systems, they can’t provide flood information between systems.

That’s where people power, our producers – literally hundreds of families who live in properties in flood-affected areas – and AgForce come in, filling in black holes of information that would otherwise go uncaptured.

To assist further, AgForce has prepared an online map that anyone (AgForce member or not) can use to locate their property and complete a set of ‘flood-impact’ questions.

We want to know about your welfare, where you’re located, and the extent of any damage sustained to your property – including losses to crops, infrastructure, and livestock.

One response received so far from a producer north of Kilkivan indicated 946mm of rain had fallen on their property – startling evidence of what is currently being missed.

The emotional and financial toll from these floods will be, as it always is, extreme, which is why we’re encouraging anyone affected to complete the questions in the online map, and upload photos.

This open-source, real-time information from people at the coalface is – even during this time of unprecedented levels of technology – still the best way to guarantee we respond quickly and accurately, and make sure no flooded areas are overlooked.

AgForce will continue supporting Government, providing your confidential, deidentified responses to not only push for increased systems to enhance our State’s disaster response – but to ensure the people affected receive the support, care, and financial assistance they need.