Flood Report. Bundaberg and Maryborough cities suffered inundation to a degree not seen in a generation. Although not record flood levels, no one is looking to break records in this category. The dislocation of every aspect of life was a reality check for most of us. The media coverage so far has made it unnecessary to fill a Regional report with anecdote, so I will try to give a value to this natural disaster.
An unusual effect of the Burnett River flood is the disruption to the loading of bulk raw sugar from Bundaberg Sugar Terminal. The amount of natural debris that can be seen from the bank of the river is amazing so it is no surprise that the river bed has changed its shape and depth. Smaller vessels may be the only way to ship sugar out for some time. I would imagine that getting that sugar on the water at almost any cost has become vital to hold our industries market share. Meanwhile we await the dredging of the now famous ‘swing basin’ at the port.
To irrigation. Yes some growers in ISIS are watering: Since the flood, little rain has fallen and with good growing conditions water will be viable. Water Pricing is continuing along with the QCA Enquiry, but with a few delays due to the flooding.
At the ISIS Productivity Limited AGM, the question of the future direction of a such successful organisation was discussed. The “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” of the Chairman and Board was well received by the members. Irrespective of if or when R & D in the sugar industry takes a change in direction, Chairman Neil Kingston felt that the usual orderly manner of the Board would see the I.P.L. well into the future.
Now we are looking to Autumn planting in the Southern Region, so I guess I had better check the oil and water and the operators of the new satellite guidance unit and make a start on the 2012 crop.