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Audio Kerry Alcock describes his Cyclone Larry experience, 2008

TLF ID R8856

This is an edited sound recording of a Queensland banana grower, Kerry Alcock, describing the devastation wrought by Cyclone Larry on his family business plantation in March 2006. Alcock tells how his crop was totally destroyed and how a new crop had to be planted from scratch using about 65,000 'suckers'. He also points out that he expects to suffer large losses from cyclones occasionally and mentions another time when he had a total crop loss. The recording was made in January 2008 and lasts for 1 minute 35 seconds.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This recording illustrates how seriously a natural disaster can affect an individual business. Alcock tells how Cyclone Larry cost his family business in the Innisfail area of Qld about $3 million in lost crop and the cost of establishing a new one.
  • The recording gives a picture of the destructive force of a cyclone. Before Cyclone Larry the Alcock family's plantation had comprised thousands of banana plants 5-7 m high. He states that the morning after the cyclone it appeared 'just like a roller or something had driven over the whole farm'. None of the plants remaining was more than about 50 cm high, and no banana bunches could be salvaged.
  • Alcock, whose family business involves his two sons, decided to replant most of his 100-ha farm. It took until the end of 2006 to gradually plant 65,000 'suckers', which became fruit-producing plants about nine months later. Many of the suckers were grown in pots over a three- to four-month period.
  • In this recording Alcock gives an insight into how farmers can be philosophical about major crop losses, regarding them as inevitable events that they have to occasionally endure. He tells how he had lost his entire crop once before - to Cyclone Winifred in 1986 - and how he suffered other major losses in 1997 and 1999. He states that every four to five years anyone growing bananas in the tropics can expect 'some sort of a knockdown'.
  • Cyclone Larry crossed the coast of north Qld near Innisfail on 20 March 2006, with wind gusts of up to 320 km per hour, causing major damage between Cairns and Cardwell and leaving a repair bill estimated at more than $1.5 billion. Banana growing was the main industry adversely affected.

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  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
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  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Name: Education Services Australia
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  • Person: Kerry Alcock
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  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
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  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
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  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
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