news

The stark photographs that expose the devastating toll of the Queensland floods on farms.

Warning: These photographs are graphic and may upset some readers.

For years, north-west Queensland was stricken with drought.

Suffering from a severe lack of rain for more than five years, Queensland based farmers struggled to keep their cattle alive through tough and dry conditions.

But when the rain finally began to fall, the situation became even more dire.

In just 10 days, some rural parts of the Queensland region received more than three years’ worth of average rainfall.

Two people were killed in the floods, hundreds of homes have been either damaged or destroyed and the state’s cattle industry are expecting an extraordinary loss of up to 500,000 cattle.

queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Anthony Anderson.
queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Anthony Anderson.
ADVERTISEMENT

It's a natural disaster that has inflicted damage which could cripple farmers for years or even decades to come, with some farmers losing 100 per cent of their entire stock.

Posting a series of stark images to Facebook, Rae Stretton shared the absolute destruction of the flood waters.

"This is the cold hard truth of what my family at Eddington Station 20km West of Julia Creek, Queensland and a heap of other families in North West Queensland are dealing with right now – from drought to floods to losing stock on a massive scale," she wrote.

Rae added that although many cattle drowned or froze to death in the harsh conditions, thousands of cattle that survived have had to be put down as there is simply no way to retrieve them.

queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Anthony Anderson.
queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Anthony Anderson.
ADVERTISEMENT

"The stock that haven't die from flood water and cold weather have had to be put down," she said.

"Where is the help from the government now?"

Some farmers reported running out of bullets to put down their stock.

“The daunting moment was when the chopper pilot runs in with tears in his eyes and says, ‘we need more bullets’, you know we’re in trouble,” Jill Richardson, a grazier from Cloncurry told 2GB.

“A friend of ours, they’ve lost 5000 weaners [eight to 10-month-old cows], they literally can’t find them. We just found a hundred cows dead on the ridge. All the calves are dead.

“The ones that are alive we have to shoot because when they find these islands, the dirt just turns to soup and they just literally just drown."

queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Anthony Anderson.

Grazier Jacqueline Curley, who also shared a number of confronting images on Facebook, described the situation as "death and devastation at every turn".

"There are kangaroos dead in trees and fences and birds downed in drifts of silt and debris," she wrote on Facebook.

ADVERTISEMENT

"This scene is mirrored across the entire region, it is absolutely soul destroying to think our animals suffered like this."

queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Tracey Hacon.
queensland floods cattle
Image: Supplied/Tracey Hacon.

In her post, Jacqueline called on Australians to support Queensland farmers.

"Australia – we need your support. You can help us by using your consumer power and insisting on buying local produce. Then we can continue to provide your families with our top quality, homegrown, nourishing beef."

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???