Recovery will be a marathon not a sprint

AS much as 20mm of rain is predicted to greet south-west farmers on Saturday.

LONG HAUL: Terang's Chris O'Connor (left) with Kim Tupper, Ashlee Hammond at the fodder distribution centre, Mr O'Connor says some farmers struggling to plan ahead.

LONG HAUL: Terang's Chris O'Connor (left) with Kim Tupper, Ashlee Hammond at the fodder distribution centre, Mr O'Connor says some farmers struggling to plan ahead.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said the region could expect some decent rain with the first cold front coming late Friday night.

Mr Carlyon said on Saturday between 10 to 20mm would hit the south-west and on Sunday between two to six mm could be expected.

“Tomorrow is the main day in terms of wetting the soil,” he said.

The weather bureau also issued a severe weather warning for Saturday with gusts of up to 90km/h forecast for the south-west. 

The wet weather will come at a time when some farmers are still coming to grips with the enormity of their farm recovery.

Terang Lions Club member Chris O’Connor said there were some farmers who were having difficulty making decisions on the best ways to move forward.

“The first couple of days everyone was in shock,” he said. “Some are finding it hard to make decisions.”

Mr O’Connor said although hay was needed it was getting to a point where some farmers would need financial counselling and assistance in their farm management.

“We might be getting to the stage that instead of a load of hay people need a counselor and a bank manager to drop by,” he said. “Some people aren’t in the frame of mind to make decisions to move ahead.

“It’s a difficult situation.”

Dairy Industry Recovery Coordinator for WestVic Dairy,  Helen Chenoweth, said affected farmers had received an enormous amount of support and good-will, but it was still only early days for the recovery.

“It certainly is a long haul,” she said. “I’ve spoken to parents whose children are having nightmares from leaving the house and driving with trees falling down.

“There has been a lot of support from service groups and agencies. It has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Ms Chenoweth said if anyone knew of people who needed assistance or just a chat they should let the appropriate agencies know.

“There are a lot of informal connections out there,” she said.

“We don’t want to cause problems for people and if they don’t want to talk that’s fine.”