Bondoola Macadamia farmer Errol Vass stands in front of some of his broken trees on his property after cyclone Marcia ripped through the Capricorn Coast recently. Photo Amy Haydock / The Morning Bulletin
Bondoola Macadamia farmer Errol Vass stands in front of some of his broken trees on his property after cyclone Marcia ripped through the Capricorn Coast recently. Photo Amy Haydock / The Morning Bulletin Amy Haydock

25 years of hard work wiped out in hours by Cyclone Marcia

TWENTY-five years of hard work was wiped out in a matter of hours for Errol Vass as Cyclone Marcia ravaged the coast three weeks ago.

His macadamia farm was at its peak, with the best prices in Australian history for the nut at about $4.50 per kilo, with a loss of $150,000 to $200,000 predicted for his income this year.

His 14 hectare property has now been reduced to what looks like a sea of broken and dead trees, with around one to two tonnes of loose limbs to clean and remove, Errol said.

He expected it to take weeks, or even months, to clean up.

Now contemplating retirement, Errol said he was unsure what the future held for him and his farm.

"I'd say 100% of my trees have been damaged or wiped out," he told the Capricorn Coast Mirror.

"The trees are 48 years old and we've been on it (the farm) for 25 years, roughly. To get back to what we had here would take about 15 years.

"It'll probably mean early retirement for me.

"It's a pretty big thing for me, it's my little project, and it was the biggest year we would've had."

As soon Errol heard the news that Marcia was upgraded to a Category 5, he knew his trees were going to be in big trouble.

"A category one or two they maybe would've survived but not a five," he said.

"We watched the trees fly over from the house as the cyclone passed because we're right next to the orchard.

"I drive between them and see it, every day it smacks in you in the face, I've had some sleepless nights over it."

With debris from 1700 trees to clean up, Member for Keppel Michelle Landry put the call out on her Facebook page last week looking for the community to help Errol.

"We've had a few people come out and we'll probably get a half-dozen tomorrow but I think the weekend we'll see a bigger group."

HOW TO HELP

To volunteer your time on Errol's farm phone him on 0447395640



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