It is May, eight months after the Gawler River floods washed over crops and through glasshouses in the Virginia area, a reminder that Mother Nature occasionally has her way with us, no matter how hard we try to contain her. ^^ The team at the Gawler River Flood Recovery Management Centre continues to help growers on the Adelaide Plains hit by flood last spring. Photo: Rob McLean
Since last October, the Virginia-based Gawler River Flood Recovery Management Centre has been helping people to deal with the outcomes of the tragedy and prepare for the future.
Local people have accessed the centre for all sorts of assistance, from government relief funding and waste-management advice through to financial counselling and a shoulder to cry on.
Recovery co-ordinator Alex Zimmermann said the facility has been well accessed but its ongoing progress continues to be reviewed.
Mr Zimmermann said services provided at the Recovery Centre will only close when it is determined that the community can be supported by normal support mechanisms locally.
Future provisionsHe said that once the facility does close, provision will be put in place for ongoing help.
“It’s going to be up to the individual families and people involved as to how long they are going to need that support,” Mr Zimmermann said.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure it’s as seamless as possible, so that…the appropriate departments are properly briefed and introductions occur so people can continue on their roads to recovery until such time as they no longer need support.”
Among the services still required by flood-affected farmers will be Centrelink, Housing SA, financial support and mental health programs.
Mr Zimmermann said financial issues have hit home hardest for many of the market gardeners affected by last spring’s flood.
“One of the dramatic issues we were confronted with was a significant undercurrent of stress, mental stress, on people, which directly resulted from no money,” he said.
“The recovery centre has assisted them to delay payments of some bills until such time as the next crop has been sold."
Mr Zimmermann said there may also still be some growers out there who have not accessed the available services.
However, Mr Zimmermann said they can still receive flood-related support, even once the recovery centre eventually closes.
“There will be two places of contact – one for people already being dealt with and then we’ll be advertising and making contacts for new people who may come out of the blue and need help desperately,” Mr Zimmermann said.
Impacted growers are encouraged to continue contacting the Gawler River Flood Recovery Management Centre. For further information:
Recovery hotline: 1800 302 787