IT had been a long time since anyone in Cloncurry had seen any decent rain so when it did finally start, we were all optimistic for what it could bring.
It was well known producers across the north west had been desperate for rainfall for years, and even in town our gardens and lawns were bare.
There was a real sense of optimism at the start but that changed pretty quickly.
After about four or five days of heavy rain it became clear we were in for a challenge.
It just didn't stop and the sense of optimism and excitement about the town turned to panic. It was a very scary week watching the radar, not knowing if or when the rain was going to stop and what kind of damage primary producers and the community would be facing at the end of it all. It's true what they say; when it rains it pours.
It was devastating to hear about the losses on properties; livestock, infrastructure, assets and livelihoods. Just as quickly as the rain came, so did the help and within days of the disaster event, our town was on the national agenda and services were flown in to help with the recovery.
The initial chaos has subsided, immediate clean-up work completed and rural businesses are making plans for the future.
Cloncurry still has a long way to go, but we've already come a long way.
The general feeling in the town is quite positive and we are celebrating how far we've come in the past 12 months.
Everyone is ready to put the disaster event behind and move on but at the same time emotions are still very raw and fresh.
The community is reflecting on what the event was and looking forward to the future but not dwelling on what happened.
It's nice to be able to help people and make a difference to their recovery as well as offer support not just in a financial way but a personal way. To be that person people feel comfortable talking to has been really lovely, to think we have been able to help make a difference in the region.
While there was immediate support available to help pay some of the costs associated with clean up and recovery activities, long-term support is available through the Restocking, Replanting and On-farm Infrastructure co-contribution grant.
It's especially useful for producers to be able to draw down on the grant when seasons permit so they can put a plan in place for their enterprise.
There is support available for on-going recovery activities and the feedback has been very positive.
- North Queensland Restocking, Replanting and On-Farm Infrastructure co-contribution grants of up to $400,000 are available for primary producers to restock, replant and repair after flooding. QRIDA administers North Queensland Restocking, Replanting and On-Farm Infrastructureco-contribution grants on behalf of the Australian Government.
- For more information visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.