Farmer worried trauma of fire crisis will drive rural residents away for good

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A Victorian cattle farmer fears Australia's bushfire disaster — and the threat of more to come — will drive people out of his community.

A Victorian farmer whose property became a hub for bushfire recovery efforts says he's worried residents won't return to fire-affected areas

Peter Sutherland and his wife helped distribute donated goods and witnessed the depth of trauma in the Upper Murray A resident in a nearby town, however, believes her community can bounce back, though numbers may drop in the short-term There were no end-of-year celebrations to be had in the New South Wales border town of Jingellic or its Upper Murray surrounds as lightning strikes sparked a blaze that charred an estimated 226,000 hectares of land.

The fire claimed livestock, homes and sheds, and turned fences into rows of blackened matchsticks — and, according to grazier Peter Sutherland, it has left fear in its wake."I can see it now — other people are going to leave us too … I'm afraid for rural Australia."


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The reality is that the agricultural sector is going to be dominated by large industrial farming corporations. Small farmers will be priced out by economies of scale and there will be further drift to the cities. The fires will just hurry up the procedure.

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