Floods leave drain pain for Murchison farmers

December 19, 2017

Murchison farmer Rob Wright stands in front of his flooded paddock.

Pasture well under water on Mr Wright's property.

Murchison farmer Rob Wright and his neighbour Neville Eyles have felt the brunt of the recent wet weather with limited drainage options threatening lucerne crops on Mr Eyles’ property.

Mr Wright said he received 215mm of rain across two days at the start of December and the large falls had left 6ha of pasture on his property under water.

‘‘No-one can expect not to have damage with that much rain in that time,’’ he said.

The waterlogging on Mr Wright’s property is so bad you would not know a dam is located on the property.

And the worst part is the only way to get the water off is under the road and across to Mr Eyles’ property, which has lucerne growing and of course was also hit by the large falls.

‘‘We’ve had a pump going on his property since Monday (December 4) and we still haven’t got rid of his (water) yet,’’ Mr Wright said on December 8.

‘‘We are pumping water through his inlet off his lucerne and into the channel. After this we will do my bit.

‘‘Pasture is easier to replace than lucerne,’’ he said.

Mr Wright must work with his neighbour because all drainage on his side of Tatura-Murchison Rd has been blocked off; he had to sandbag the drainage under the road to save Mr Eyles’ lucerne crop.

‘‘There was no drainage on our side before I bought the house,’’ Mr Wright said.

The neighbours have called on VicRoads and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan to visit and see what they are able to do to help.

‘‘Drainage is important to the road as well as us,’’ Mr Wright said.

‘‘The responsibility is on VicRoads.’’

VicRoads was contacted and a spokesperson said the situation was being investigated.

Victorian Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan has been putting pressure on the government and VicRoads to get something done.

‘‘I understand that years ago there was a drainage system, and I know that the Minister for Water has released a rural drainage strategy; however, work carried out by VicRoads has actually blocked the drainage system up,’’ she said in parliament on December 13.

‘‘Something needs to be done by the minister and by VicRoads to assist Mr Wright and other owners of properties along the Murchison-Tatura Rd that are affected.’’

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