In Parliament this week, Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on the Victorian Government to extend the natural disaster declaration for Mildura to include the recent storm, which would allow those affected to access the same range of assistance as those impacted by the floods.
Ms Lovell told the Premier of the severity of the storm that hit the Mildura area the Friday before last, where winds of up to 150km/h and hail stones larger than tom bowler marbles damaged cars, lifted roofs, smashed buildings, and caused significant damage and loss to crops.
“Wheat crops from Werrimull down to the south have been wiped out and some farmers were due to start harvesting on the Saturday morning – the day after the crops were wiped out,” Ms Lovell said.
“A lot of the grape growers, including wine and table grape growers, were not insured.
“This storm will significantly reduce the quantity of the harvest this year, and the effect of the storm means there will not be a crop next year – so two years’ worth of income has effectively been wiped out.”
Ms Lovell said the storm damage is yet another hit to northern Victoria’s agriculture sector which in recent years has consistently struggled against drought, flood, weather impacts and the recent dairy crisis, and said government support is needed.
“After last month’s floods Mildura was added to the list of natural disaster sites, which allowed affected residents to access government disaster recovery funding,” Ms Lovell said.
“The Victorian Government needs to extend the declaration to include the storm, so that people affected can access government disaster recovery funding.”