THE full fury of the region’s recent storm was evident after an enormous tree at a Berrys Creek cattle farm was toppled by strong winds.
But fortunately, the farm was relatively unscathed and according to owner Fergus O’Connor, the Blue Gum had a girth of almost 30 feet and was more than 250 years old.
“It’s actually quite a shame,” he said.
“But I suppose that shows the severity of the storm.
“It didn’t impact us too badly, but it impacted the dairy farmers far worse.
“We kept our operation going exactly the same.”
However, Fergus is concerned the storm and power outages are an example of the changing climate and highlights the need for more reliable, sustainable power.
Fergus and wife Deb are members of Farmers For Climate Action, which represents more than 5000 farmers across Australia.
“We run a steer operation and we’ve planted 18,000 trees over the last eight years,” he said.
“We’ve lost hectares of our farm to trees but it’s actually a positive because we get shade and shelter for our cattle.
“So, it’s a win-win for both the environment and our beef operation.”
Mr Fergus believes more needs to be done on climate change and its contribution to extreme weather events.
“We all know the problem, it’s the variable climate we’re in now, we just have to stop fossil fuels – it’s as simple as that,” he said.
“The argument for fossil fuels is becoming less and less strong.”