PM and premier assess flood-affected Forbes, agriculture minister warns food prices on the rise

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet have visited the flood-affected town of Forbes to see firsthand the damage of the natural disaster in Central West New South Wales.

Forbes is one of 31 local government areas that are declared disaster in NSW; a town that has experienced five floods since 2010.

Mr Albanese, alongside Mr Perrottet, thanked volunteers and emergency service workers for their help as the Lachlan River peaked on Friday at a major flood level.

“People have been magnificent [with] sandbagging … the efforts of people here in Forbes has made an enormous difference,” Mr Albanese said.

“But, there is further rain expected later this week and it remains a very dangerous situation.”

Mr Perrottet says unfavourable weather is predicted.

“We have stood side by side with communities right across our state during difficult times and we’ll continue to do that,” he said.

“We do expect more challenging weather, more difficult forecasts, on the way.”

Cattle are moved to higher ground during the flood event in Forbes.(Supplied: Rachael Morgan)

Ag Minister predicts higher food prices

The federal minister Murray Watt has warned consumers will be paying more for fruit and vegetables in the wake of the floods across south-eastern Australia.

“We can expect there is going to be a very large dollar impact,” Mr Watt said.

A tree with a flooded paddock and hill in the background.
Paddocks and crops have been underwater for weeks near Forbes.(ABC Central West: Mollie Gorman)

The floods have caused widespread damage across prime cropping and horticultural areas.

“It’s likely that these floods are going to have a cost-of-living impact on people because of the impact of prices of fruit and vegetables,” he said.

Calls for dam wall to be raised

The State Member for Orange Phil Donato, whose electorate covers Forbes and surrounding communities, told the prime minister that raising the height of the Wyangala Dam wall would be one way to help reduce future flooding in downstream communities on the Lachlan River.

Water flowing over the dam wall
Water Infrastructure NSW has not yet released the business case for raising the Wyangala Dam wall.(Supplied: NSW Water)

There have been calls for several years for the wall to be raised 10 metres, a move farmers believe would prevent major flooding of paddocks.

The prime minister said any funding agreements would be honorable for infrastructure projects, but business cases were required to be completed.

“We’re happy to deliver on any infrastructure project that stacks up,” Mr Albanese said.

Loading form…


Leave a Comment