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Flood-affected farmer says large-scale help needed amid fears Victorian communities are being forgotten




A Victorian dairy farmer is calling for more resources for flood-hit communities in the upstate, with the scale of the emergency leaving some residents feeling ignored.

Di Bowles, a dairy farmer in Mead near Cohuna, said the scale of the flooding was “horrendous” and suggested the area be declared a natural disaster area to allow for proper resources.

“We need large-scale help,” Ms Bowles said.

She said authorities were doing their best to meet the needs of flooded communities, “but it’s just overwhelming – the area is so big, the need is so great”.

Ms Bowles felt that the focus had been on large population centres, and rightly so.

“But what’s happened is everyone in between feels like they’ve been ignored,” she said.

“This area depends on agriculture and livestock and people have lost all their income over the next 12 months, and this was going to be the best year we’ve had in so long.

“Having all your income destroyed in front of you is heartbreaking.”

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Catriona Freeman is a farmer in Prairie, more than 80 kilometers south of Mead in Loddon County.