Anger grows over Murray River water authority handling of Lake Hume releases as major floods devastate livelihoods downstream

UNDER WATER: This picture from Old Woperana's Facebook page shows the extend of flooding to the west of Tocumwal. Old Woperana runs an educational program and animal nursey as part of its regular mixed farm operation.

UNDER WATER: This picture from Old Woperana's Facebook page shows the extend of flooding to the west of Tocumwal. Old Woperana runs an educational program and animal nursey as part of its regular mixed farm operation.

IT will be weeks before farmers along the Murray River will be able to really start counting the cost of floods but one thing they are sure about is that bureaucracy has contributed to the devastation.

Native Dog, Tuppal and Bullatale creeks are all in flood, wiping out up to 90 per cent of the 2016 harvest on properties along Lower River Road and Tuppal Road to the west of Tocumwal.

About 5000 hectares of Tuppal Station’s 5600 hectares are under water, with less than 190 hectares of crop untouched. The 1200 hectare Old Woperana education farm has closed.

Stuart Scott’s family has farmed the 4600 hectare Aratula, Tocumwal, for a century and levees which went in after the 1974-75 floods were supposed to protect the property burst this week.

“Most of the farmers in this district could tell you back in May, June that there was going to be a flood this year and I don’t know why the weather bureau and the blokes controlling the weir don’t take a bit of notice of what people were saying and what the rainfall charts are showing,” Mr Scott said.

“Everything was saying it was going to be wet and they should have made a bit of pondage up there to try to help us out.”

“The water job in the eastern states is bloody terrible, really.”

Mr Scott said he was looking at some of his best crops but now faces huge financial and environmental loses.

Rob Locke, who works with his father-in-law Alan Scott, said at least 2500 of 2800 hectares of crops would be impacted on his 8000 hectare mixed farm.

“The Murray Darling Basin Authority people really need to take a good hard look at what’s happened,” he said.

“.. And look at the third party impacts that have affected people, and the economic and social impact this is going to have on our region, in Tocumwal, Deniliquin and Echuca.

“Really, the plan as it stands now isn’t going to work, it’s not working.”

The basin authority on Friday said it would appoint regional engagement officers with six partner organisations, including Greater Shepparton City Council and North East Catchment Management Authority, to bridge the gap between the organisation and communities who rely heavily on water.

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