Theodore divided over flood issues
A TOWN-COUNTRY divide is emerging in Theodore, with farmers feeling abandoned during the December record flood.
Theodore cotton farmer Fleur Anderson, president of the Dawson Valley Cotton Growers Association, told the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry that sat in Rockhampton on Monday farmers had no warning a massive wall of water was coming to ruin their livelihood for the second time in nine months.
"[Banana Shire] Council did the best they could with the resources they had but were unable to provide any significant early warning and recovery to people in outlying areas," Mrs Anderson said in her statement to the Inquiry.
"Their focus seemed to be on the residents in town.
"No information was given to farmers concerning flood preparation or response leading up to the major flood event," she said.
Mrs Anderson said they had no warning of flooding to Lonesome and Castle Creeks that inundated their 1000 acre property as the creeks are not monitored digitally.
She said her husband Kirk had been checking them and told her to take their daughter Tilly and to leave.
"If it wasn’t for my husband checking the creek we would have been stranded at the house.
"We did not receive any warning via any means with regards to the creeks rising to this level."
Her comments were backed up by Theodore grazier Burnett Joyce
Mr Joyce told the inquiry his property ‘Gyranda’ had 26 inches of rain in December, usually his annual rainfall, which led to flooding and saw them cut off for several weeks.
He said warning of the impending flooding was by word of mouth only.
"We did not receive any warning from any agency that any of the district was under threat," Mr Joyce said.
He also took a shot at town residents, stating there was a lack of response to warnings from Theodore residents.
"Theodore received about two weeks notice of the impending flooding yet many of the residents did not do anything to help themselves prepare for the flood.
"This led to damage property that could have been avoided.
"This lethargic approach I think is due to the overload of information that the community receives."