Milt Crompton feels for his brother’s family, who have lost their Innisfail banana crop in Cyclone Yasi.
Milt Crompton feels for his brother’s family, who have lost their Innisfail banana crop in Cyclone Yasi. Blainey Woodham

Family ok, says local

MILTON Crompton went to sleep Wednesday night knowing relatives were about to endure the wrath of Cyclone Yasi.

Yesterday he hadn't heard from his brother's family, but was confident they had survived the category five cyclone that hit their home near Innisfail.

What he was more concerned about was that, for the third time in 20 years, the family had its livelihood destroyed by freak weather.

“I haven't heard from them, but they're living on the Palmerston Highway, right at Innisfail,” Mr Crompton said yesterday.

He followed the coverage of the storm on TV.

“My word, it was devastating.”

A number of banana farmers in far north Queensland have Tweed connections, with many having relocated there from the Tweed decades ago for the more favourable growing conditions.

Mr Crompton's family was one of them.

“Looks like their entire crop will be gone, it's the third time in 20 years that's happened to them, the last time being Larry.

“No sooner do they get up than they are knocked back down again, it has only been three years since the last time.

“All they can do is get up, and get going again, and I am sure it will happen sometime again in the future. It makes it so much harder for them, it is just the unfortunate part of living up there.”

While the region's banana crop was wiped out, there was good news among the devastation.

The Bananas Growers Council's Jonathan Eccles agreed there would be a drastic decrease in supply, with Tully, Innisfail and Cardwell providing 85 per cent of the country's bananas. But he expects farmers to get back on their feet within four to five months.

“One good thing is the cyclone was earlier than Larry, so we've got more weeks of summer for the young plants to grow.”



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