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Flood-Hit Farmers Face Massive Losses

28 November 1999
Flood-Hit Farmers Face Massive Losses & Difficulties

Farmers in the flood-affected regions of Otago and Southland are facing a massive clean-up task and financial difficulties, despite the floodwaters receding. Vice President Tom Lambie is making an inspection tour today.

Mr Lambie said that the long-term impact of the Otago floods on farmers would be huge, as many farmers face massive financial losses and difficulty carrying out basic farm tasks.

Mr Lambie is flying down to meet farmers and determine what Federated Farmers of New Zealand can do to help. Federated Farmers will also poll local farmers by fax.

Otago farmers are facing a particular challenge of isolation. Road access is still non-existent for some, and others' phone-lines are yet to be re-established.

"Not only do these farmers face the clean up costs, but their land will not be back into full production for a number of years."

"We estimate that there is $700,000 worth of damage in the Cardrona Valley alone."

Irrigation schemes that supply stock and domestic water are damaged, and that is causing serious concerns. Heavy machinery is required in the upper reaches to repair the schemes' headworks, pipes and races.

Massive slips have wiped out fences, roads and access tracks, which also destroys access to Conservation areas.


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