Recovery chief says flood repairs are making progress
"WHILE we've come a long way, there's still a long way to go."
Exactly 13 weeks today since floodwaters swept through the Bundaberg and North Burnett communities, Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner and Disaster Recovery co-ordinator Brett Pointing says there have been milestones achieved but challenges still needing to be faced.
"With both councils, we've established a recovery framework," he said.
"That enables us to focus on four key areas - infrastructure, community, economy and environment."
Mr Pointing said one of the biggest infrastructure milestones was the pace at which both councils had undertaken emergent works.
"We've seen how quickly the Tallon Bridge was repaired," he said.
"Probably most importantly, the work done on major intersections in North Bundaberg that were once a cavernous hole in the ground."
Mr Pointing said hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damaged roads in both communities had now been fully assessed.
"That meant people have had to walk down those roads and take photographic evidence of the damage," he said.
"That's an incredible achievement to have that assessment done.
"That finished last week, a month ahead of schedule."
The recovery progress has not come without its challenges.
"There's always challenges with a small percentage of people who were uninsured, or underinsured, and who might not have the safety net of extended family who may come to their aid," he said.
"They are the people that I worry most about.
"I hope the solution to helping those people will be community-based."
Mr Pointing said he was also concerned for some farmers in the North Burnett who will most likely be forced to leave the industry.
"There are some farmers whose farms have been devastated and who are struggling to recover from the impact of two floods," he said.
"You simply can't solve everything for everyone.
"That deeply challenges the team."
From here, Mr Pointing said the next step was to work out packages for carrying out road repairs and get them out to market.
"But the recovery is always going to be about supporting people," he said.