Flooded Baffle Creek residents use social media to be heard

Administrators for the disaster forum, Craig Bradley and Belle Parker are in Baffle Creek to help with the Australia Day flood victims. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Administrators for the disaster forum, Craig Bradley and Belle Parker are in Baffle Creek to help with the Australia Day flood victims. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong

BAFFLE Creek residents struggling to rebuild homes and lives after the Australia Day floods have turned to social media for support.

The Natural Disaster Facebook forum was created last week, and already has close to 100 members from around central Queensland.

In the Baffle Creek area, at least 30 people are still unable to return home and are stuck in temporary accommodation more than two months after the disaster.

Craig Bradley is the Bundaberg-based administrator for the Facebook group.

He said a forum for victims to discuss natural disaster issues was vital to avoid being ignored by government and insurance companies.

"There are a lot of communities who have been left behind and forgotten about like Baffle Creek," he said.

"What we are trying to do is to get people to voice their concerns about what was done and what wasn't done."

The emotional trauma is still raw for many home-owners in Baffle Creek, many of whom are still waiting to hear back from insurance companies.

Flood victim Kerie Howlett said she had had to rely entirely on the generosity of locals.

"Without them we would have nothing," she said.

Mr Bradley said the aftermath of a disaster had the worst impact and local councils were not well placed to help.

"There comes a point where the state and federal government need to step in," he said.

The group has voiced concerns with federal politician Bob Katter, who they plan to meet in the coming weeks.

Donation shed a lifeline for flood-weary residents

WORN-OUT Baffle Creek residents agree - the Sport and Recreation Shed has been the "heartbeat" of the community since the Australia Day floods.

For the past two months, flood victims have turned to the centre, dubbed the "donation shed", for food, clothes, furniture and support.

Local volunteers set up the shed after being overwhelmed with donations from around the Gladstone region.

Volunteer Kay Findlay said the experience had brought the community together.

"We have all become really close. It's been the heartbeat of the community," she said.

And flood victims never go  wanting.

"If they needed (something), we wrote it down and found it," Ms Findlay said.

Organisers plan to auction off remaining items in the coming weeks and put the money back into the Baffle Creek community.

Baffle Creek Community Day

A COMMUNITY Day will be held on April 20 at the Sport and Recreation Centre in Baffle Creek to raise funds for flood victims.

The local tavern, which is sponsoring the event, said it was their way to say thank you to the community.

Topics:  australian government baffle creek facebook flooding oswald rain

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