AUSVEG is commending those taking steps to assist growers in the Carnarvon region of Western Australia, after Cyclone Olwyn devastated the region late last week.

The cyclone wiped out a wide variety of crops, damaged infrastructure and cut water and power supplies to thousands of people, leaving local growers and others in the community to count the cost.

“Given the widespread destruction wrought by Cyclone Olwyn, it is important that we offer every assistance to growers who have been affected by this devastating natural disaster,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Lauren Winterbottom.

“It is therefore pleasing to see retailer Coles taking steps to assist its banana suppliers around Carnarvon, after their crops were wiped out.”

“AUSVEG has received confirmation from the retailer that parts of the damaged crops are still harvestable for the next two weeks, and that the price paid per carton to growers has been increased to give them a better return on the salvageable bananas.” 

“The retailer has also indicated it will absorb the price increases.”

“In the wake of this highly destructive natural disaster it is heartening to see steps being taken to lessen the devastating impact on growers affected by this terrible event, and Coles should be commended for its efforts.”

It is understood further avenues for assistance will be investigated by the retailer in the days ahead.

While some steps are being taken to lighten the burden on growers in the region, reports from Carnarvon indicate there is much yet to be done to recover from the disaster.

With the cyclone having wiped out the region’s banana and pawpaw crops, as well as a number of young vegetable crops, including capsicums, eggplants and tomatoes, some in the region were yet to have water and electricity reconnected by Tuesday morning.

“AUSVEG is calling on the authorities and all relevant parties to do what is necessary to assist the Carnarvon region in its recovery from this devastating setback through relevant disaster relief assistance,” said Ms Winterbottom.

“The local horticulture industry is a vital part of this tight-knit community and it is important also that it is afforded every opportunity to bounce back.”

“Local growers are also questioning why as of Tuesday morning the area was yet to be declared a natural disaster zone given the cyclone came through late last week, and are calling for the State and Federal Governments to provide all appropriate support for such a key horticultural area of the state.”


MEDIA CONTACT:  Lauren Winterbottom, AUSVEG Spokesperson

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0439 386 049, Email: