Cattle Carcasses Hanging From Trees After QLD Floods
Graziers will be paid a small sum to help bury rotting herds in Queensland where carcasses block roads and some still dangle from trees weeks after floodwaters receded.
But they say the fallout of a flood that swept through their properties earlier this month is far worse than they'd expected.
One-off federal payment of $5000 will be available in coming days but how far that money will go is in doubt.
A week ago Rachael Anderson and her husband vowed to rebuild but are now considering selling one of their properties.
Their bank has offered to loan the Andersons whatever they need, but they have nothing to borrow against and risk digging themselves further into debt.
"It's probably going to cost into the millions to replace not only the livestock that we've lost but also the infrastructure," she said.
They have spent 12 years building up their breeding stock but the losses keep on coming.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told councils the federal government is working on providing more help.
"Our concern as producers is where and when is this going to happen," Anderson said.
"Is it going to happen before the next election? Is it going to happen after the next election?"
She believes the loss of livestock across the 800 or so properties affected will total about 1.6 million, triple the estimated figures coming from local mayors.
"It's going to be over a million head, they're estimating it's going to be 500,000 head but people are laughing at that figure and saying 'Yeah, and the rest'," she said.
"I don't even know how they're going to help us, because that is big numbers."
Meanwhile the bodies of herds hardened by years of drought but swiftly killed off by exposure during the flood is slow work, and the impact will be felt for years.
"It's an ugly, ugly job, that's for sure," Julia Creek grazier Patrick Hick said.
"Plenty of people I know are quite rattled by the event and you know, they're some pretty tough characters."
Graziers say the animals that are left will struggle to breed in the next season because of stress, and that some areas won't see feed because the topsoil was washed away.
Hick says some of his cattle are perched on a ridge surrounded by carcasses, but are refusing to make the short walk to grass and water.
"They'll stand up there and perish," he said.