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Mundubbera farmer backs ‘buy local’ message

Chris Allen (right, glasses) and North Burnett Regional Council members and officers join local residents to talk with Queensland Reconstruction Authority chairman Major-General Mick Slater at Mundubbera.CHRIS Allen is a proud farmer, but the floods have given him – just like so many other rural producers – a real battle.

He’s a Mundubbera fruit grower who has lost his entire ready-to-pick grape crop, has had his mango production slashed to a third, and his only hope at the moment is avocados.

Adding to the hundreds of thousands of dollars damage, he and his workers cannot get onto his sodden property to spray his vines, so next year’s crop is at risk as well.

A guacamole-led recovery won’t be enough, but the need will be for Queenslanders, wherever possible, to buy local produce from growers like Chris and his Weemillah Orchards for them to get back on their feet.

The best response will be a local response. The more than $130 million already donated to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal is so heartening, but the best long-term response will be us buying Queens-land produce, holidaying at home and looking out for each other.

It might be parochial, but I’m a Queenslander, too, and when we get knocked down, we help each other up. From the time I was asked to lead the task force (January 5) and then to be chairman of the more robust Queensland Reconstruction Author-ity (January 19), I have visited many regions, with many more to come.

It’s about getting a better handle on local issues. There are many like issues, but each region has its own special needs. However, the very same line has been said to me in every region – “there are many worse off than me”. It’s the Queensland way!

Having said that, Grantham and the Lockyer Valley have been sever-ely hit. My thoughts are with those who have lost family and friends.

So far I have been to Rocky, Emerald, Gladstone, Bundy, Gayn-dah, Mundubbera, Theodore, St George, Condamine, Dalby, Ipswich, Goonda, Grantham, Lockyer Valley, Helidon, Oakey and Toowoomba. ? Major-General Mick Slater.

l If you are a business and want to help, visit: 老域名qld.gov备案老域名/floods

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