The Ipswich flood inquiry held at Ipswich Courthouse on Tuesday.
The Ipswich flood inquiry held at Ipswich Courthouse on Tuesday. Rob Williams

Goodna 'in the dark' over disaster

A CHILDCARE centre in Goodna did not receive warnings about January's looming flood disaster and was evacuated only after a chance meeting with police, the Queensland floods inquiry was told yesterday.

Returning to Ipswich yesterday, the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry also heard from a Goodna resident who fled her home without receiving an official warning.

A number of people spoke at the sitting yesterday, which looked at land use and planning issues as well as the handling of insurance flood claims.

Krystal Wilson, the centre director of Goodna's Kaleidoscope Early Childcare Centre, said 115 children had to be evacuated from their site as the floods approached in January.

She told the inquiry that she did not receive any warnings from authorities or emergency services while at the centre, but had chanced upon a police officer when inspecting flooded waterways.

Along with another staff member, she told the inquiry she was driving around the suburb when an officer spotted their childcare centre logos and told them to evacuate the centre.

"Prior to speaking to the officer, we had not had any contact from any authority. I decided that it was better to evacuate sooner rather than later," she said.

Ms Wilson, who said the centre had excellent evacuation procedures, said the centre's 25 staff safely moved the 115 children in their care, including eight babies, to higher ground 10 hours before the building was flooded.

In the space of about two hours all parents were contacted and had come to collect their children.

Goodna resident Natalia Ang, who was forced to flee her Mill St home during the flooding, said she and her husband searched for flood warnings on the internet to no avail, before deciding to evacuate themselves.

Meanwhile, Fernvale resident Colin Sharp detailed to the inquiry his frustrations in dealing with insurer RACQ in the months after the flood.

He said he had to repeatedly call RACQ to get updates on his claim and at one point threw his phone out the window in frustration.

He said one of the only phone calls he received from the insurer came when he was informed he was not insured.
The inquiry will sit again in Ipswich today before holding eight more days of hearings in Brisbane.

The commission delivered an interim report in August and is expected to deliver its final report in February next year.

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