Lack of recognition for region’s plight rankles
LEONIE Creed's major concern about Cyclone Marcia revolves around the fact that the Gladstone region received no acknowledgement that any part of the region had suffered in the cyclone.
While the Livingstone and Rockhampton regions and Banana Shire were all included in the affected area and became eligible for assistance the Gladstone region missed out completely.
"It's as though nobody realised the cyclone actually travelled through the western part of the Gladstone region," she said.
"It's almost like they are saying the cyclone jumped across and didn't cause any damage between the Rockhampton region and Banana Shire!
"People in the area from Mt Larcom down to Raglan found they were not eligible for any assistance from anyone.
"While we could cope with an expensive clean-up and re-build, there are many people out this way who are struggling, and they were being turned away, being told this area was never activated for the special disaster assistance which was available to people in other areas.
"My daughter-in-law Helen (Ron's wife) obtained the forms and tried to lodge an application quite early in the event but was told it would not be accepted as our region was not activated for that assistance. "Nobody came to take a look. Had they done so they would have found that properties in the path of the cyclone suffered considerable damage."
She wrote letters to a vast number of people expressing her concerns, including the prime minister, his deputy, local politicians, federal, state and local and the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority.
In some instances, a year on, she is still awaiting replies.
"I just want to make sure the authorities, whether they are local or government, make sure all areas receive the same kind of treatment," Mrs Creed said.
"I know we and our neighbours did not receive the treatment we deserved.
"We still have not finished cleaning up after Marcia.
"The devastation here in our area was massive."