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Queensland cattle grazier Jane McMillan slams foreign aid spending following devastating floods

A grazier who has lost almost half her cattle from flooding has demanded the government put farmers before foreign aid.

Jane McMillan took aim at politicians after a fortnight of heavy rain caused her to lose 40 per cent of her cattle near Cloncurry in remote, north-west Queensland.

‘We need to support our own. We need to work out a system where we support our own first and then we look at foreign aid,’ she told Sunrise host Samantha Armytage on Monday.

‘For years now, we’ve neglected rural and remote Australia.’

The flood crisis affecting north-west Queensland, from Cloncurry to Julia Creek, has killed 500,000 cattle, following five years of drought.

Ms McMillan said Australia’s major parties were ‘playing politics’ as farmers like herself struggled from a natural disaster that has caused an estimated $2.5 billion worth of damage to the region.

‘It’s really bad. I struggle to explain the enormity of the situation,’ she said, adding Australia had lost an ‘essential industry’ overnight.

Grazier Jane McMillan (pictured) who has lost almost half her cattle from flooding has demanded the government put farmers before foreign aid

Grazier Jane McMillan (pictured) who has lost almost half her cattle from flooding has demanded the government put farmers before foreign aid

Jane McMillan took aim at politicians after a fortnight of heavy rain caused her to lose 40 per cent of her cattle near Cloncurry in remote, north-west Queensland

Jane McMillan took aim at politicians after a fortnight of heavy rain caused her to lose 40 per cent of her cattle near Cloncurry in remote, north-west Queensland

After 14 days of heavy rain, floodwaters are now reaching the Gulf of Carpentaria, as the Flinders River swelled well beyond its normal size to be 80km wide in some areas.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has announced she would move a Senate motion on Wednesday for the federal government to prioritise Australian victims of natural disasters over foreign aid.

‘I will be calling on the Government to divert the allocation of foreign aid in the upcoming 2019 budget to relief assistance for drought, fire and flooding victims from across Australia,’ she told her 249,000 Facebook followers on Tuesday.

The Australian government pledged $4.2 billion towards foreign aid in the 2018/19 budget, with $410 million of that for overseas humanitarian disasters.

The flood crisis affecting north-west Queensland, from Cloncurry to Julia Creek (pictured), has killed 500,000 cattle, following five years of drought 

The flood crisis affecting north-west Queensland, from Cloncurry to Julia Creek (pictured), has killed 500,000 cattle, following five years of drought 

Since the May budget, another $6.3 million was last year dedicated towards farmers and farm communities in drought, following complaints from agricultural groups.

In the 2015/16 budget, the government set aside $35 million over four years to help drought-affected areas in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.  

The latest disaster in north-west Queensland is set to intensify calls to help farmers affected by natural disasters, following heavy rain which flooded Townsville before bad weather moved inland and devastated cattle stations as several years’ of rainfall poured down in a matter of days.

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