Australia

Queensland flood appeal raises $3.6m as insurers under pressure to pay up

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An appeal to raise funds for flood victims in north Queensland has raised $3.6 million.

Queenslanders are digging deep to raise funds for flood victims in the thick of a clean up after part of the state were swamped by a year's worth of rain last week.

Officials have deemed 1,800 homes of 6,800 assessed so far have been damaged, as an appeal to raise funds for people affected climbed to $3.6 million.

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'Hundreds of thousands' of cattle dead after Queensland floods
'Hundreds of thousands' of cattle dead after Queensland floods

Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has told state parliament she plans to meet with the heads of insurance firms and the Insurance Council of Australia in flood-ravaged Townsville on Friday to discuss recovery efforts.

"The emotional and mental wellbeing of communities is of critical importance and the rapid assessment of insurance claims will be a vital part of recovery," Ms Trad said.

"We are calling on insurance companies to be fair and compassionate when it comes to the assessment of claims."

The Insurance Council of Australia has defended the behaviour of insurers in Townsville amid complaints they are not paying up.

As of Tuesday, insurers had received 14,600 claims from people living there, with losses estimated at $175 million.

It comes amid concerns from exhausted graziers about how they will make loan repayments when banks come knocking in coming months.

Graziers have told of having nothing left to borrow against to get back on their feet, and the full financial impact many flooded farmers are likely to be hit with remains unknown.

On Eddington Station, near Julia Creek, where about 2000 cattle died, Rachael Anderson says the loss of so many animals will affect the station's ability to survive.

"I can provide for my family right now. But in six months time or when the bank comes for their repayment, I don't know what I'm going to do," she said.

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Insurers warned to be compassionate, responsive to Queensland flood claims
Insurers warned to be compassionate, responsive to Queensland flood claims

The financial hit to farmers in the state's northwest and the industry more broadly may not be known for weeks but it's expected to be hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some rural properties remain underwater, making it hard for those graziers to get feed to their surviving animals.

The federal government has noted the problem and will provide an immediate ex-gratia payment of $1 million to affected shires.

At Groper Creek, south of Townsville, police are still searching for a 35-year-old man who disappeared in floodwaters on Friday.

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