Veteran farmer Kerrie McMartin's impassioned plea for action on climate change, promising to be a voice for drought-hit regions after her crops were ruined.
Veteran farmer Kerrie McMartin's impassioned plea for action on climate change, promising to be a voice for drought-hit regions after her crops were ruined.

Bird's eye view shows flood devastation on farm

KERRIE McMartin's family have been running a farm on the Sunshine Coast for 75 years, and are among many who were affected by both this weeks extreme downpour, but also the previous drought throughout January.

"We've seen the weather patterns change dramatically over these past 75 years now, but last night we were just hit with this big deluge, giving us 172mm of rain, whereas before we'd only be getting half that normally," she said.

"While we have some really resilient crops like sugarcane and a sophisticated drainage system, we are still vulnerable when they start building houses in the area and all the excess water that wouldn't normally be there is drained down to us."

Drone footage shows flood damage to Kerrie McMartin's farm on the Sunshine Coast. Video: Climate Media Centre
Drone footage shows flood damage to Kerrie McMartin's farm on the Sunshine Coast. Video: Climate Media Centre

However, even with her crop seemingly halfway under water, she's spent the better half of last night and today volunteering with the SES to help the people of Sunshine Coast and being a voice for those out west who aren't receiving this immense downpour.

"These weather events are having a massive impact on our business and our income, but I really feel for those guys out west, my heart goes out to them," she said.

"We may have a poor crop every now and again, but for some of them they have nothing to restart with.

"I get really frustrated when people just don't get it, because it's not part of their everyday life.

"Telling a farmer that climate change doesn't exist is like telling a police officer that domestic violence doesn't exist or a psychiatrist that mental health doesn't exist.

"Just because it doesn't exist in your world, doesn't mean it doesn't exist in someone else's."

Kerrie McMartin of McMartins Farm during sunnier times. Picture: John McCutcheon
Kerrie McMartin of McMartins Farm during sunnier times. Picture: John McCutcheon

When asked about how the people of the Sunshine Coast are dealing with the clean-up, Kerrie reveals some are still suffering from last November's hailstorm that blasted the coast.

"We've found that everyone is waiting for a new roof, but there's not enough roofers to get enough roof in time, and now its storm season, all the temporary patch jobs just aren't working," she said.

 



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