Carey's erosion fears after floodwaters rip through abattoir
BUSINESSMAN Greg Carey could be looking down the barrel of a $1 million dollar repair job after floodwaters ripped through his Yangan abattoir last week and sent the earth underneath it crumbling.
Mr Carey lost a "substantial" amount of land at the processing plant - which sits atop Swan Creek - inching it closer to the water's edge.
Erosion has been an ongoing problem for the plant, with the earth gradually plummeting into the creek.
"It is at the point where it's starting to threaten infrastructure now," Mr Carey said.
"We lost 3.5m outside the office alone."
Mr Carey said while moving from the edge may seem like an obvious solution, it was not an option for the Yangan business.
"Some people say just move things over but we are pretty strapped for space out here and don't have that luxury."
Mr Carey is set to meet with members of the River Improvement Trust and an engineer in coming days, to determine the best way to stabilise the crumbling ground.
He said early indications are the cost would be in the range of $800,000 to $1 million and he was looking into funding that may be available to help with the cost.
If that was not enough of a financial impact, the plant has also been hit with about $90,000 worth of damage to fencing and other property.
The businessman said he monitored the floods all day on Sunday but said nothing could prepare for the aftermath when he was able to make it through the road closures on Tuesday.
"To come in and see it was just devastating," he said.
"There was much more debris this time and the mud was everywhere."
"We really take pride in keeping things neat and tidy out here as well, so that was hard."
The cold rooms and office were the only parts of the plant that were not hit with floodwaters but fortunately most of the equipment was saved.
Doors to the abattoir were closed on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday it was business as usual and it returned to full capacity.
The pressure to get things up and running again was intense, with about 110 vendors sending animals to the abattoir for processing in the week before the floods.
"We are an essential service and we have a lot of people relying on us," Mr Carey said.
Although the doors are open, it could be months before the clean-up was completed and the plant was returned to its pre-flood condition.
Mr Carey said he was overwhelmed by the staff members and community members who pitched in to get the plant running again.
He made special mention of Jimmy Weier and Peter and Colleen Lindores from Killarney, who offered machinery and assistance for the clean-up.