Search operations scaled back

THE search for people in the Lockyer Valley has been scaled back.

The families of the three people who remain missing have been consulted with on the new phase by senior officers.

Queensland Commissioner of Police, Bob Atkinson, said the extensive search and recovery operation which has been ongoing in the Lockyer Valley has returned to a “revised search program.”

Commissioner Atkinson said the exhaustive search since January 10 had included hundreds of Queensland Police (QPS) and interstate jurisdiction police, defence forces and volunteers.

“It involved air, land and water searches of the Lockyer and Brisbane valleys from Spring Bluff through to Moreton Bay,” he said.

“Specialist resources, including cadaver dogs, police divers and Army engineers have been used to fully scour the 663 square kilometre search area three times.

“Some parts of the valley, such as Grantham and surrounds, have been searched up to six times.”

Up to 10 helicopters have been used in the aerial search, which encompassed the search area twice.

This week, water police in canoes scoured the reaches of the Lockyer Creek inaccessible by foot or larger craft.

The Grantham community and other key stakeholders have also been consulted and the revised search program has been explained as a part of that consultation process.

As a part of the recovery process for the Lockyer Valley, a temporary police station will operate out of Grantham seven days-a-week for the next six months, bolstered by a 24-7 police response from Gatton station.

Police will also be actively involved in searching demolition sites in coming months as homes and structures destroyed by the floods are removed, despite these already being searched.


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