Residents in the Boyne Island/Tannum Sands area were force evacuated from their homes by Police and other emergency services due to floods.
Residents in the Boyne Island/Tannum Sands area were force evacuated from their homes by Police and other emergency services due to floods. Christopher Chan GLA270113BOYN

MPs tell of terrible cost to communities after floods

Comment from Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham

Comment from Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd

 

HOUSES flooded, roads closed, properties destroyed and communities distraught.

Last month's floods caused devastation throughout Central Queensland which saw local leaders unite to help Gladstone district's residents.

Comment from Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham

Independent member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said for those who were directly affected, it was a huge hurdle.

"Down at Boyne Tannum and the Tablelands areas, some of those people are really just starting again," she said. "Particularly the primary producers."

Ms Cunningham said the three major affected areas in the region were the Boyne Valley, Boyne Tannum and Tablelands Road area.

Ms Cunningham was happy to announce that the Gladstone area was going to be eligible for category C funding for primary producers.

"That's a great boost; it gives them knowledge that they are thought of and we want to see our primary producers and families get back together," she said.

Ms Cunningham said there was about 7.2 million in the state flood fund to date.

"People have been burnt," she said.

Ms Cunningham said the flood committee was advised on Monday there would not be a Federal Government flood levy this time.

Ms Cunningham said funding through the Red Cross Flood Appeal was available and application forms could be found at redcross.org.au or her Gladstone office.

Community members are also encouraged to look out for friends, family or community members that were affected first-hand by the floods.

"The primary clean-up is done but we have to watch the family stays buoyant emotionally and psychologically.

"Most people cope at the time but it's in the next few weeks and months that they can have serious depression.

"If you know someone that you love or care for that's showing signs, get them to their doctor."

Ms Cunningham said she wanted to thank all the volunteers whether SES or other groups.

"I hope people are encouraged to know that demonstration of concern will continue until we get people back on their feet," she said.

 

Comment from Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said two-thirds of the Flynn electorate was severely damaged.

"You can really define that to areas along the Burnett River.

"Gladstone didn't fair too bad apart from those houses along the Boyne River."

Mr O'Dowd said the 2013 floods were definitely worse than those of 2011.

"The 8.5m water level over the dm was a record," he said.

The devastation was endless and Mr O'Dowd said thousands of km's of fencing was destroyed, irrigation pumps and equipment.

"Citrus trees, grape vines have all been pulled out.

"Where the tornado's hit you have got to see it to believe it."

On a positive note, Mr O'Dowd said the community help displayed throughout the regions was marvelous.

Upon his visits to surrounding properties, Mr O'Dowd said what stuck out to him was the dead animals caught on bridges and washed up into the citrus trees on farms out in Wallaville.

"It's devastating to see and devastating for the people who had to pluck them from the trees," he said.

Mr O'Dowd said there are government assistant packages out there to help flood victims.

"We've just about got all the packages through for my electorate.

"It's not the be all and end all but it's a start for people to start making it back on their feet."

The recent floods bring the toll up to three floods in six years in central Queensland.

Following the tragedy, many people affected do not wish to rebuild their homes on their current location.

Mr O'Dowd said after talking to communities, one lady said she would never forget the gurgling sound of the animals drowning in the flood waters.

"She said I've got to live with that and I don't want to live in this house," Mr O'Dowd said.

Though covered by insurance Mr O'Dowd said these many of these people do not feel the need to build their life on the same block of land.

"Too often councils and insurance companies make people rebuild where the insured property was.

"And the thought is now, why would you want to do that?

"Why not relocate to a higher ground?"



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