Editorial: Minister visits flood damage

The causeway over the Cloncurry River is reopen with caution with water over the road.
The causeway over the Cloncurry River is reopen with caution with water over the road.

It was lovely to see the country looking so green on Tuesday as first I flew into Mount Isa over a rapidly filling Lake Moondarra and later that day I drove down to Cloncurry.

The whole way day there were signs of new shoots as the land shows its always remarkable ability to recover from the hardest conditions while it was also a sight for sore eyes to see so many creeks running.

The Cloncurry River is in good shape too though the causeway over the bypass was now re-opened with water over the road and the Chinaman Creek Dam was a sight to behold recently as the water gushed over the spillway.

There was plenty to like in the recent weather event but there was also plenty of damage with McKinlay Shire Council alone estimating up to $20 million worth of damage and many roads including the road up to the Gulf still closed.

McKinlay Mayor Belinda Murphy will be one of many mayors anxious to talk to Queensland Emergency Services minister when he arrives in the region on Wednesday (after our deadline) to assess flood damage.

Mr Crawford was expected to be joined by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll on the inspection in Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Winton.

He said there were over 400 calls to the SES in the last week for the wet weather event and swift-water rescue crews and rural firefighting volunteers had also responded to calls for everything from flood rescue to calls for clean-up help.

Commissioner Carroll stressed it was important for residents to remain patient while floodwater levels dropped.

“It’s important that people stay out of the flood affected areas as waters recede and locals and local authorities the chance to assess the damage for themselves and undertake their clean-up activities without sightseers coming through, possibly venturing into unsafe areas during the clean-up operation,” Ms Carroll said.

The SES can be contacted on 132 500 but if it is a life-threatening emergency call 000.

There is more useful information at getready.qld.gov.au.

- Derek Barry