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Years Of Research Lost After Golf Ball Sized Hailstones Smash Greenhouses

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Years Of Research Lost After Golf Ball Sized Hailstones Smash Greenhouses

Parts of Australia were absolute pummelled yesterday with golf-ball sized hailstones. People uploaded pictures and videos of cars and homes that had been wrecked as a result of the weather conditions. But one picture was circulated widely because of the severity of the damage.

Dozens of greenhouses belonging to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were left in ruins as a result of the hailstones.

Experiments were being conducted in these greenhouses, according to ABC, and because of the damage, years of research has now been lost.

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Chief operating officer Judi Zielke said: "We're very fortunate that none of our staff were hurt.

"Those 65 glasshouses of course held a lot of research and we're really feeling for our scientists at the moment that are so dedicated to their work and have spent years working on some of the projects in there.

"Unfortunately, most of those projects will be totally lost. [They were] largely focused on environmental research - how to reduce the amount of water, chemical and fertiliser use.

"For projects that potentially might have been close to the end of, say, two or three years work, that is really distressing."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Some of the greenhouse projects were looking into how to have better crop sustainability, with researchers growing wheat, barley, legumes and cotton in potentially new ways.

Zielke said it will be possible to rebuild and continue with the research, however, it is still heartbreaking to see so many years of work go down the drain.

Insurance providers will have had their phones ringing off the hook since the storm rolled through Victoria, the ACT and New South Wales.

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The nation's capital has recorded the most amount of claims, according to The Australian, with a little more than 10,000 requests, followed by 6,600 in Victoria and 1,950 in New South Wales.

Insurance Council Australia head of communications Campbell Fuller told 2GB radio: "It will be a challenge at certain times. You will find that when you have hundreds of people calling one call centre there may be some slight delays but in most cases those insurers will be able to get to those customers quickly.

"Insurers do anticipate disaster season and it's an unfortunate part of Australian life that roughly from October through to March or April, insurers anticipate a large number of claims."

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Around two-thirds of claims so far are vehicle-related.

Featured Image Credit: Saul Justin Newman/Twitter

Topics: Weather, News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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