House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Statements by Members

Queensland: Floods

1:44 pm

Photo of Cathy O'TooleCathy O'Toole (Herbert, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Townsville has experienced the worst floods in our recorded history. The Ross River Dam rose to 244 per cent. Townsville received a year's rainfall in nine days: 1,134 millimetres were recorded up to 9 am on Monday, 4 February, reaching over 1.65 metres. More than 22,000 homes were destroyed. People's belongings were destroyed. The flooding was disastrous, but the worst is not yet over, as we lead into the dangerous clean-up time. Every home flooded or not is trying to cope with extreme mould. So far we have eight people in the intensive care unit at Townsville Hospital being treated for melioidosis, an environmental bacteria that lives in the soil. This disease can be deadly.

We are furiously cleaning up our city, because Townsville is the city where we get in, get our hands dirty and get on with what needs to be done. But we must also take time to listen to and act upon the advice of the health authorities. To those participating in the clean-up: I want to acknowledge you and recognise the amazing work that you are doing, but it is also important that you stay safe. Please wear protective gear, including airway protection, and, importantly, please stay hydrated during the intense and humid weather. To the people of Townsville, Palm Island and Magnetic Island: please stay safe. My sincere thanks go to all of the hardworking volunteers. This disaster has brought out the very best in our community. We are a resilient mob and we will get through this, hopefully safely.

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