Major flooding remains across the area from Cloncurry to Hughenden in Queensland’s north west with stock losses expected to be in the many thousands.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk toured Cloncurry on Thursday with Cloncurry mayor Greg Campbell, Queensland Assistant Police Commissioner Bob Gee and Queensland Fire Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll.
They saw dead cattle lining paddocks on the Cloncurry to Normanton Road, thousands of cattle stranded at the Cloncurry saleyards, damage of roads and crossings like Butcher’s Creek and spoke to devastated landholders about their loss.
The Premier promised she would work with all levels of government to get the right things to the right people.
“We are doing everything we can to get these people get back up on their feet. I have just had the opportunity to travel kilometres and as far as the eye can see there are dead cattle everywhere,” said Premier Palaszczuk
“The conditions out here are unprecedented, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. So now we need to do a big coordination to make sure the support is getting to where it is needed the most.”
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was also in town having an aerial tour of flood affected properties including Granada Station north of Cloncurry.
“All I could see was an inland sea. It is unbelievable what I just saw,” said Minister Littleproud.
“We need to sit here and listen to what the community has to say and act. Landholders have been through the hardship of drought now the devastation of flood, we just have to support them though.”
Minister Littleproud said the government was prioritising the transportation of fuel with avgas coming from RAAF base at Amberley.
East of Cloncurry is where the devastation is felt hardest with McKinlay, Richmond and Flinders Shire Councils all struggling to reach affected landholders.
The Flinders River at Richmond is currently at 9.38 metres (above the 1974 flood level of 8.76 metres) and steady.
The river level is expected to remain above the major flood level (8m) into next week with further river level rises possible as upstream floodwaters arrive.
A freight train derailed at Nelia Thursday though there is no threat to the public as the two houses had been evacuated earlier in the day.
It could be days before anyone gets to the scene.