About 500,000 head of cattle has been lost as a result of catastrophic flooding in northwest Queensland. Picture: Anthony Anderson/AFP
About 500,000 head of cattle has been lost as a result of catastrophic flooding in northwest Queensland. Picture: Anthony Anderson/AFP

Grazier’s plea: ‘We need to support our own first’

A QUEENSLAND grazier who's lost almost half her cattle in floods in northwest Queensland wants Australian governments to give farmers more financial support before spending money on foreign aid.

The two-week deluge, which continues, dumped more than a year's rain on large swathes of north and western Queensland, causing the loss of a massive 500,000 head of cattle.

Jane McMillan, who has a cattle station in Cloncurry, struggled to describe the impact the cattle deaths have had on her community.

"It is really bad," she told Seven Network on Monday.

"We need to support our own. We need to work out a system where we support our own first and then we look at foreign aid."

Cloncurry grazier Jane McMillan. Picture: Supplied
Cloncurry grazier Jane McMillan. Picture: Supplied

Rural properties remain under water and graziers continue to search for their surviving cattle in order to feed them.

The army is helping out with food drops and clean-ups but the heavy stock losses are taking their toll.

"For years now, we have neglected rural and remote Australia and we spent thousands of dollars on the east coast in our major cities on hospitals and schools and roads and rail, but [not] in outback Australia," Ms McMillan said.

The financial hit to individual farmers and the industry more broadly may not be known for weeks but it's expected to top $300 million.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Labor government and LNP opposition are jointly calling on insurers to ensure they give claimants a fair go.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will ask the Insurance Council of Australia and insurance companies to meet her in flood-devastatedTownsville on Friday to see the extent of the flood damage.

As of Sunday, insurers had received 13,560 claims, with losses estimated at $165 million.