AUSVEG is concerned that growers in the Carnarvon region of Western
Australia are not being given adequate financial assistance in the aftermath of
the devastation caused by Cyclone Olwyn last month.
Assessment of the disaster relief package available to growers has only taken
into account damage to horticulture businesses and not other businesses,
leaving many victims feeling short-changed in their efforts to rebuild their
businesses and their lives.
“It is concerning that the level of disaster relief being made available to
growers is only taking into account cyclonic damage to horticulture businesses,
which is only a small proportion of the total damage wrought on local
businesses and their communities,” said AUSVEG Board Member and local grower
Michael Nixon.
“No industry exists in a vacuum, particularly in rural communities, and
measuring the level of assistance for horticulture without considering the
flow-on effects from damage to the wider community is restrictive and fails to
accurately assess the real cost of Cyclone Olwyn.”
“That growers are not being offered financial assistance that truly reflects
the damage inflicted on their businesses is deeply concerning and something
that must be addressed immediately.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000
Australian vegetable and potato growers.
Settlements and farms in the north west of the state are continuing to count
the costs from the destructive natural disaster, with a wide variety of crops
destroyed and public and private infrastructure severely damaged.
“The level of destruction of this cyclone and long term impacts for the
Carnarvon region cannot be underestimated. It is vital that local horticultural
businesses and their communities are provided with the correct level of
assistance to aid their recovery,” said Mr Nixon.
“In addition to damaging infrastructure, the cyclone wiped out the region’s
banana and pawpaw crops, as well as a number of young vegetable crops,
including capsicums, tomatoes and eggplants.”
“Given that protected cropping structures are particularly prevalent in this
region and the severe level of damage that has occurred to infrastructure, the
correct level of assistance is urgently required so that businesses can get
back on their feet.”
“Without the required assistance, growing businesses could take many years to
fully recover from the cyclone’s impact, and some may never fully recover.”
“Regardless of the bureaucratic framework in place, the highest level of
financial assistance needs to be made available to growers immediately, as it
has already been six weeks since the cyclone.”


Shaun Lindhe, Senior Communications Officer

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: