Members Statement - Loddon Shire Flooding

06 February 2024

Martha HAYLETT (Ripon) (13:10):

Christmas day and the weeks after were devastating for the communities of Wedderburn and Korong Vale in my electorate. Flash flooding hit the Loddon shire hard over a 72-hour period across Wedderburn and even more in surrounding areas. Seventeen homes were inundated, and farm, fencing, livestock and crops were washed away. So many locals lost so much, like Ros and Laurie, whose home flooded twice; Lance, who is living in his caravan while he waits for his insurance company to process his claim; and Sandra, who needs an oxygen machine for her throat cancer and was so exhausted when I knocked on her door. So many farmers had only just recovered from the floods of October 2022 only to be hit with destruction during harvest.

Like in all hard times though, there were heroes that emerged. I want to thank the emergency services members and volunteers who pulled up their sleeves to help, especially local legends like James, John, Tom, Nigel and all members of the Wedderburn and Korong Vale CFA brigades. They helped evacuate residents and prepared over 2000 sandbags. I

also want to thank Sergeant Ben Huisman and his wife Gabby Huisman, Andrew Roberts, Matthew Tansley and Will and Scott Cunningham, who rescued a man and his dog trapped in floodwaters. They stepped up at a time of need, and without them we would be lost.

They make me proud to represent parts of the Loddon shire in Parliament, and I will be with them all the way.