31 August 2019
Since appointment as Chairman and CEO of the North Queensland Livestock Industry Reconstruction Agency, Shane Stone and Agency staff travelled thousands of kilometres through the flood-impacted area to meet with those affected by the monsoon of January 2019. In September 2019, 6 months after the event, Shane Stone, Advisory Board members and Agency staff drove over 4,400kms through much of North and North West Queensland inspecting restocking, replanting and rebuilding of infrastructure including roads. From council meeting rooms to roadhouses, stockyards to kitchen tables, chats on the sides of the road and in the coffee shops over a cuppa, people shared their stories of resilience and strength as they got back on their feet following the monsoon trough. Shane Stone was strongly of the view that Canberra based bureaucrats needed to get dirt under their nails, mud on their boots and travel the vast distances to understand the remoteness and challenges of Northern Australia. Don Heatley OAM, Andrew Metcalfe examining cane farm drains in Hinchinbrook Shire choked by overgrown mangroves. Cane grower Alan Robino showing Don Heatley and Andrew Metcalfe (EY) the problem of the overgrown mangroves.