It is a case of no pain, all gain for Dubbo as floodwaters in the State’s north-west start to recede and the “bush comes alive”.
Professor of Farming Systems at Charles Sturt University David Kemp said it would be expensive for those affected to deal with the problems created by the floodwaters, but the benefits gained by the area would have a positive spin-off effect on Dubbo.
“It’s going to add a lot of money to the economy of the west,” Prof Kemp said.
“These waters will help bring income back to farmers ... and agriculture, when it gets going, (it will) keep the economy alive.”
Prof Kemp said freight and transport, labour and hospitality industries were just a few that would benefit from the water in the north-west, but it would take time for money to start flowing through the economy.
“It’ll take quite a while to recharge systems, but farmers are going to be in a better position to hire people so there’ll be some more jobs created,” he said.
“Agriculture is a key contributor to the country’s economy (and) once it rains it’s magic.”
Darling Farms managing director Ian Cole said Bourke had been knocked around by the drought, with all the table grapes and half the citrus industry lost.
“A lot of people lost their jobs,” Mr Cole said.
But the waters had already created a positive turn-around
and were “bringing back a lot of hope”.
“The packing sheds are open after about three years in mothballs,” Mr Cole said.
Mr Cole said the water had “put a smile back on people’s faces” and they were starting to plan again and develop crops.
“People are going to be spending more money,” he said.
“It’s going to be very beneficial for communities ... especially Dubbo because people out in the communities around Bourke, Brewarrina and Walgett buy their goods and services at Dubbo.”
Mr Cole said the positive steps forward would be “big for
transport” and create a lot more jobs.
“We had road trains at our door taking away melons in summer and we’ll have a whole heap more in March and April,” he said.
“The citrus is in May and June. All the cotton also has to be shipped out from June, and freight will be bringing in crop inputs and equipment.”