FLOOD-STRAINED: Joel Joel farmer Colin Hall with about four kilometres of destroyed fences he has cleared from his property. His farm copped damage estimated at $200,000 during a flash flood in December. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has rejected a flood-relief grant application, which would have seen farmers including Mr Hall receive assistance up to $25,000. Picture: PAUL CARRACHERJOEL Joel’s Colin Hall has had a tough six months since a December 18 flood swept across his property, but he has vowed to keep lobbying the Federal Government until he and others like him receive proper financial assistance.
During the flood, five to six inches of rain fell on his property north of Stawell in a couple of hours.
The run-off from the Bulgana Hills and overflowing water from Six Mile and Seven Mile creeks sent a one to two metre deep wall of water across his farm, wiping out 31 kilometres of fencing and killing 120 sheep.
Mr Hall believes the damage bill was almost $200,000.
He is now disappointed Prime Minister Julia Gillard has rejected Category C grants of up to $25,000 for farmers and business owners under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
“It seems because we are from a smaller area the government can just ignore us,” Mr Hall said.
He said the grants’ rejection came at a trying time for farmers in the area.
“After dealing with years of drought and then floods in 2010 and 2011, this is something else we have to cop,” he said. “It will be two or three years before we can stand on our own feet again.
“I don’t understand how people could have made this decision.”
Individual residents in Moira Shire and Greater Shepparton City were given access to $25,000 grants within weeks of floods that hit the region in early March.
“If we had a film crew covering the Joel Joel flood we might have received more attention,” Mr Hall said.
He said farmers in the area had not given up.
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