The scale of devastation that has unfolded across north Queensland is like nothing our predecessors at either the North Queensland Register or the Queensland Country Life have ever seen.
For more than 125 years, our northern masthead has been chronicling the big stories of the north. Floods, fires, drought and cyclones have all graced the covers of The Reggie.
We’ve recorded the moments that our men returned from wars, the opening of new industries and roads and the ongoing development of the rich frontier that is northern Australia.
But never before have we reported sudden stock losses of the magnitude that we saw in the north west in early February.
The images of paddocks peppered with carcases and bogs filled with weak or dead cattle will go down in history as one of the most catastrophic events to hit the northern beef industry.
For now, the focus is on caring for what stock remain and carefully disposing of those that died. The task cannot be underestimated.
We stand with groups like Blaze Aid who have have rushed to the north to see what help they can provide, and the AuctionsPlus week-long online charity auction.
Ongoing assistance and support will undoubtedly be what helps get some graziers through.
In the coming weeks and months our energy will turn to rebuilding and restocking. There are no answers yet as to how this will happen.
What we do know is that all levels of government must keep this horror front of mind.
So far, each farming operation can access $75,000 in emergency funding. This will go some way to assisting with immediate feed bills and the clean-up. But rebuilding the beef herd will be no easy task.
There will be no easy fit. It will be a complex problem that will require coordination across multiple departments and agencies and dramatic, yet flexible solutions that meet the needs of producers.
Until then, we at the Queensland Country Life will continue endeavouring to tell and share your stories. It is a privilege we take very seriously.
We merely hope the rest of the nation keeps listening and responding to your stories in the months to come.