Mowbray Park Farm affected by fire, virus and flood

Damage toll: Blair and Jacqui Briggs have a lot of work to do to get their farm up and running again after storms hit Wollondilly last weekend. Picture: Chris Lane
Damage toll: Blair and Jacqui Briggs have a lot of work to do to get their farm up and running again after storms hit Wollondilly last weekend. Picture: Chris Lane

Wild weather lashed Macarthur last weekend causing flash flooding and widespread damage across the region.

Wollondilly councillor and Mowbray Park Farm owner Blair Briggs saw his property bare the brunt of the unprecedented rainfall.

Cr Briggs has spent the past three months fighting the Green Wattle Creek bushfire now he faces weeks of repair work at home.

He said while he welcomed the rain, the damage was yet another blow to not just his property but others in similar situation across the shire.

"It's absolutely amazing to see my dams full now and a delight to see some green grass," he said.

"We received almost 500mm of rain in the days leading up to and over the weekend, but the downside is we almost lost some of our dams, so I was out there deepening spillways, trying to stop water from getting into our lodges and trying to keep the animals on dry ground.

"It was a frantic 48-hours with very little sleep."

Cr Briggs said his property had sustained a decent amount of damage would require some serious cleanup and repairs.

"We have lost fences, some of our roads washed away, the dams need repairing, our historic 1920's weirs are under such a heavy load and I cannot release them, one of our horse floats has been severely damaged as well.

"We are working to keep our stock on dry ground because the green grass can affect their digestive systems."

Mowbray Park Farm is one of the shire's most popular tourist destinations and agricultural education facilities.

Cr Briggs said his business had suffered through the bush fires, the coronavirus and now flash flooding.

"I was off fighting the fires and Jacqui was holding down the fort here," he said.

"We had to dry feed our stock because of the drought - which is very expensive.

"We had people cancel and schools postpone because of the fires and then we lost all of our Asian tourist visitors because of the coronavirus.

"Now we have a huge clean up ahead and the forecasted wet weather might continue to keep people away because they understandably don't want to leave their homes.

"But now is when businesses in Wollondilly need your support. This is uncharted territory for us. We are working really hard to get people down here, but it has been very tough."

Cr Briggs encouraged people to come down to the shire and consider visiting Mowbray Park Farm.

"I think it is an exciting time to come and visit because you will witness a farm in transition," he said. "I hope we are on our way out of this drought, so it's a great opportunity to come and see how farms recover."