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A day a disaster changed people’s lives in an instant: Roxon

Attorney-General of Australia Nicola Roxon in Toowoomba for the second anniversary of the 2011 flood disaster.
Attorney-General of Australia Nicola Roxon in Toowoomba for the second anniversary of the 2011 flood disaster. Dave Noonan

UPDATE: FEDERAL Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has paid tribute to the marvellous efforts of people behind the scenes who have helped get the region back on track.

Ms Roxon, who is also the Federal Minister for Emergency Management, was in Toowoomba yesterday to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 flood disaster.

On January 10, 2011, after months of persistent rain, a wall of water tore through Toowoomba killing two people.

Later that afternoon, an inland tsunami tore through the tiny Lockyer Valley hamlets of Murphys Creek, Postmans Ridge, Helidon, Grantham before moving onto Ipswich killing a further 23 people.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio cut short his holiday to meet with Ms Roxon and give her a guided tour of recovery works across the region.

Ms Roxon, in her first visit to the region, said she was amazed at how much devastation had occurred.

"For me personally it was impossible to imagine that two small creeks which run through the city could be responsible for so much devastation," Ms Roxon said.

"It was a day a disaster changed people's lives in an instant.

"But please never let us forget the lives that were lost on that tragic afternoon two years ago," she said.

Ms Roxon said the recovery efforts in Queensland was one of the largest every undertaken in Australia's history.

"The work we undertook was simply a massive task," she said.

"I personally wanted to come and see how the recovery efforts were going."

EARLIER: FEDERAL Attorney-General Nicola Roxon will visit Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley today to mark the second anniversary of the 2011 flood disaster.

Ms Roxon will meet with Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio before heading to Grantham to see first-hand how the federally funded recovery efforts are progressing.

On January 10, 2011, after months of persistent rain, floodwater tore through the Toowoomba CBD killing two people who became trapped in their vehicle at a CBD intersection.

Later in the afternoon, a wall of water tore through the tiny Lockyer Valley hamlets of Murphys Creek, Postmans Ridge, Helidon and Grantham.

The human cost to the region was horrific - 25 people were killed that afternoon.

A subsequent coronial inquest a year ago into the disaster found that 22 people died as a result of drowning.

The remains of three people were never recovered and are presumed dead.

Topics:  anniversary, attorney general, floods, lockyer valley, toowoomba


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