Dam long wait: Nursery finally gets rain relief

AFTER three long and stressful years for Benaraby Junction Nursery owner Judy Turner her dam is finally full.

Ms Turner doesn’t know what she and her partner Colin Olsen would have done if they hadn’t received the rain last Friday night.

In one night, the nursery received 110mm, enough to fill up the dam that has been running low since 2017.

“At first I didn’t know how long it was going to last. I thought ‘please let it be enough for us to put some water in the dam’ and then it rained and rained,” Ms Turner said.

“I got up the next morning and the dam was full, I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

Ms Turner said she doesn’t know how long the 30-year-old business would have lasted without the rain.

Benaraby Junction Owner Judy Turner hasn't seen her dam this full since 2017.
Benaraby Junction Owner Judy Turner hasn't seen her dam this full since 2017.

She had to cut down on staff hours because of the cost of keeping plants alive.

“If the income is not coming through the door, it can’t be going out,” she said.

“We cut back on a hell of a lot of stuff, as well as regular staff hours.

“(Our staff) understood that the drought took a toll on business.”

Although the rain brought much-needed relief, Ms Turner said the business is still recovering.

“If we don’t get follow-up rain then we’ll be back to square one again,” she said.

“We’re still operating on skeleton staff … and we’ve got a while before we see some sort of turnaround.”

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rosa Hoff said the locations receiving the most rainful over the past seven days were Gladstone Airport with 106mm, Benaraby with 123mm and Mount Larcom with 139mm.

Ms Hoff said showers are expected to continue this week.

Gladstone Area Water Board said Lake Awoonga received an average of 135mm over the past 10 days, a small increase of 1 per cent in the lake’s capacity since February.

While the drought hasn’t broken yet, Ms Turner has high hopes it will be a good wet season. “I haven’t seen the dam full in such a long time. You forget what it looks like, but we have enough water now to last us quite a while,” she said.