Council says thanks
THE Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC) met for the first time on Wednesday in more than two months after the flood disaster occurred.
The meeting commenced with a thanking of LVRC staff and the community's support of each other and commitment to their job, despite adverse conditions.
Mayor Steve Jones said the January 2011 flood disaster was the most significant event in the history of the region.
“Thank you to everyone and it is a focus to get people involved who still want to help,” Cr Jones said.
“Many people have come forward with gifts and donations from far and wide.
“In the weeks to come, we will continue to see that help is as hand.
“There are a lot of people doing good in Australia.
“These people have done it out of their own good and it is very important to recognise that.”
Cr Janice Holstein said it is a big thing for a regional council to deal with.
“Half our staff were flooded in at the time and we must thank other councils' offers of help,” she said.
“We all need to support each other because it is a long road ahead.”
Cr Jones said everyday Australians did extraordinary things.
“People showed initiative on the spot in a desperate situation,” he said.
“One month later, the search is still on for those missing and the importance is on the preservation of life,” he said.
Cr Jim Macdonald said the damage to property as well as the generosity of people in Grantham was hard to describe.
“I felt the loss and people getting back into homes is not as simple as rebuilding houses again,” he said.
“We want to see people safe and return to a good quality of life as soon as possible.”
Councillors described tales of staff and others sleeping on the premises and many restless nights and to expect the unexpected as the drama unfolded.
Many informal council meetings were held almost on a daily basis.
Cr Jones said it is important concerning donations to congratulate the community on their enthusiasm to give back.
Of items lost an equal amount has been donated, especially in terms of clothes, but there is still a lack of whitegoods.
“We now have huge stocks and it is a huge logistical task that requires a lot of manpower to sort through,” Cr Jones said.
“We are not taking away the generosity of people, but at a community level people should donate cash.”
In terms of infrastructure and rebuilding the region, Cr Peter Friend said engineers should be doing a lot of pre-planning for stronger roads, bridges and other structures for the long-term.
Roadtek is currently doing a lot of repatching work on the region's roads, but he said council resources are stretched and the rebuilding needs to be a collaborative effort.