Flood-hit citrus growers wait for help
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BRISBANE, Feb 5 AAP
February 05 2013, 08:33AM
The Queensland government is asking Canberra for extra help to get the state's citrus growing region back on its feet after devastating floods.
The state's agriculture minister John McVeigh will meet with affected farmers in the Burnett region on Tuesday.
Queensland wants the federal government to release additional funding, beyond normal disaster relief grants for farmers.
Judy Shepherd, the secretary of the Gayndah and District Fruit Growers Association, said last week some citrus orchards had been completely wiped out while parts of others had slid into the Burnett River.
Mr McVeigh said farmers were facing a very difficult situation, with trees and vital equipment, including irrigation pumps, lost.
He said growers were going to need a lot of support and he was worried about their emotional state.
"Not just now and in the coming days, but in the coming weeks and months and in some cases for the coming seasons as well," he told ABC radio.
"We're concerned about their welfare. We've got a lot of work to do to support them and their local communities."
Ms Shepherd has called for generous government support to ensure the industry, and communities that rely on it, can recover.
"We're really in dire straits," she said.
"Mining is not going to last forever.
"We're going to be here - hopefully we're going to be here."