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The Flood hits community and unions in South Brisbane and West End

Have been getting queries about flood affected areas in West End and South Brisbane. In short, it is 1974 all over again. Only this time there are more people living and working in these areas. Apartment buildings near the river were flooded.

Just to let people know I walked around the South Brisbane West End area this morning.

I spoke with a number of locals and the general opinion was clear – don’t build below the flood plain and don’t put high rise apartments right near the river – surprise, surprise. But is anyone in government listening? They haven’t till now.

Why not resume all the flooded land and make it into parkland- better still, put it under Murri control – they looked after it for thousands of years – much better than the johnny come lately developers, Brisbane City Council and state government.

There is a massive clean-up operation happening but both West End and South Brisbane are without power and phone landlines are cut at the moment (Friday 14th Jan 2011).

Union buildings like the CEPU, Misos and QCU are without power although QCU (TLC) was not flood affected.

Electricians need to check each building before the power can be put back on. Many traffic lights are out and police are conducting light traffic in the area. The Christian Outreach people have set up a volunteer service to help people clean up their homes.

QCU building looks like it will power back up and should be working by next Monday 17 Jan. Click here to see what the QCU website says about their closure

The Misos (LHMU QLD State Branch) building was flood affected and so there may be some problems to sort out there before it is up and running. heir website is http://www.lhmu.org.au/branches/qld

The lower lying areas are clothed in mud – it is slippery and hard to walk/ride along. I walked down Montague Road from West End to South Brisbane and there is mud and debris everywhere – the army and police are in the area and I even saw an army ambulance. The army were cleaning up debris near the Go Between bridge.

I took a few pictures to let you see for yourselves.

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Conclusion

What I take away from this is the need for the local community and workers to have more say in what goes on in their places of residence and work. For a couple of days we have seen people come together in ways that we do not usually experience. We have also seen jingoism – where people act as if people from other countries do not pull together in times of crisis. We have also seen selfishness – people going home from work on Tuesday when the flood was threatening refused people on the bus at South Brisbane bus station. One debate is ‘Did Wivenhoe do the job as promised?’ Well there are many theories, too many for this short piece. [see Damned if they do, damned if they don’t ].

Here is some further info that may be of help to flood affected people:

The Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help people affected by the recent floods. The Australian public, business community and all levels of government have given generously to this appeal, which will initially focus on helping individuals and families who are suffering from the impacts of this natural disaster.
You may be eligible for an emergency assistance payment if:
• the damaged residence was your home you lived in at the time of the flooding, regardless of whether you own or rent the property
• the damaged residence was flooded internally, above the level of the floor, in the living areas making your home uninhabitable
• you will find it hard to recover from the impact of the floods without financial assistance.
The funding is not means tested. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may receive $2000 per adult or $1000 per dependant child.
To make a claim, download a form from http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/form.html or contact Centrelink by phone on 180 22 66.

Flood claim information

Ian Curr
14 jan 2011

Remains of the day … Robin Taubenfeld had the help of volunteers to break up a piano so it could be moved downstairs for collection. Photo: Nick Moir

The Wivenhoe Dam is at 190 per cent of capacity. Photo: Dean Saffron

Cleanng up in manning Street looking toward Musgrave Park

Musgrave Park from Manning and Russell streets

Volunteer Centre on the corner of Melbourne, Mollison, Browning and Boundary Streets West End

Looking down Montague near Go Betweens Bridge

Melbourne Street South Brisbane

Boundary Street West End

References:

Wildlife Qld