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Anger as police stop victims going home

ANGRY: Jasmine Moas waited at the Burnett Traffic Bridge for more than two hours yesterday – only to be turned back.
ANGRY: Jasmine Moas waited at the Burnett Traffic Bridge for more than two hours yesterday – only to be turned back. Leah Kidd

MORE than 1000 displaced residents will get the chance to view their flood-affected homes in Bundaberg North, after it was decided to open up access to the exclusion zone from 6am on Saturday.

Residents will be allowed into the no-go zone for a short amount of time to look at their homes and retrieve small personal items.

Among the conditions of entry are that people must be residents or owners of homes or businesses in the zone, have some form of ID, do not use toilets or bathroom facilities and do not start any cleaning up.

All residents must be out of the zone by nightfall

Buses will be available from 7am, leaving from the Civic Centre and Agrotrend evacuation centres.

The decision to open the zone up to residents follows an outpouring of anger yesterday, after evacuees had been told by Bundaberg Regional Council at a community meeting they could enter the area at 2pm - only to be told later by police it was not safe for them to do so.

 About 100 residents waited at the bridge at 2pm believing they would be granted access, but Superintendent Rowan Bond quashed that plan

"We cannot guarantee the safety of the people if they move into North Bundaberg," Supt Bond said.

North Bundaberg woman Jasmine Moas had arranged a babysitter for her five kids and waited at the Burnett traffic bridge for two hours, only to be told she couldn't see her home

Mrs Moas said she still had no idea of the state of her family's Mariners Way home.

"We're ready to go and now nothing; it's heartbreaking not knowing - we're waiting to be told that we're not going over today," she said.

"We haven't been told anything; we're just listening to reports."

Mrs Moas said her family was feeling terrible uncertainty.

"We still haven't seen our house or have any clue what's left of it," she said.

"Everyone else is able to clean up already and we can't even get over there."

Water police patrolled the river to ensure no one tried to cross in a boat.

"A boat tried to go across before and police stopped them," Mrs Moas said.

Cr Batt arrived at the scene and informed residents they had misunderstood the message.

"We cannot let people in until it's safe to do so," he said.

"I'm as frustrated as they are with the situation," he told the NewsMail.
 

Topics:  exclusion zone, oswald




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