Grantham pleads for privacy

GRANTHAM residents are calling on motorists to respect their privacy as they continue to rebuild their shattered town.

The Gatton-Helidon Road, which runs directly through the devastated township, has been closed to the public since the inland tsunami tore through the town a month ago.

But yesterday, the main road was reopened with a strict 40km/h speed limit being enforced and strong police presence throughout the town.

Some Grantham residents are so concerned about their property or the few belongings they have left that they have put warning signs around their devastated community.

One sign – “looters will be shot” – was clearly displayed on the veranda of a barely standing Queenslander while other residents remained on high alert, watching as cars travelled through their town at a snail’s pace.

Resident Bob Meredith, who lost everything in the disaster, said he hoped motorists would not travel through the town just for a look.

“People need to remember that we are still grieving for lost family and friends and many of us have nothing left,” Mr Meredith said.

“I can’t live at my house to guard the things I have got left ... it’s a concern.”

Debris was still strewn across paddocks leading into Grantham yesterday; a few damaged cars were still visible – some lodged in trees, others had sunk into paddocks – and each and every home or business was just a shell.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said he hoped motorists respected resident’s privacy and took care while driving through the town.

“There is still a lot that has to be done out here and plenty of people are still trying to salvage what they can from their homes and businesses and some can’t be touched until their insurance has been sorted,” Cr Jones said.

“It’s a work in progress. We are working together with several government agencies to get this done as quickly as possible for the sake of the residents but people have to realise that this will take several months, if not years, to fix.”

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