Ipswich was ignored in flood: MP

EVERY level of government failed the people of Ipswich in the wake of January’s epic flood, irate Labor MP Shayne Neumann says.

The Federal Member for Blair told Federal Parliament on Tuesday night that Ipswich City Council, State Government and his own government performed poorly in response to the flood, and that it was a disgrace that people were left to fend for themselves.

Mr Neumann said civilisation was almost at the point of breaking down in the days following January 12, when the Bremer River peaked at 19.5 metres.

“We teetered on the brink of lawlessness in some of these communities,” he told Parliament during condolence motions for the flood victims on Tuesday.

“There were many failures and I’m thoroughly and utterly furious and angry at the lack of communication, co-ordination and consultation.

“The people in my electorate were let down, and I have to say, at every level of government.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale admitted the management of Ipswich’s flood response could have been handled better, but said this was not the time for playing the blame game.

“I’m too busy helping people, to look for somewhere to place the blame,” Cr Pisasale said.

“We have not had a natural disaster of this scale in decades and there were areas which should have been better managed.

“But the people of Ipswich did amazing things in response to the flood and I would rather talk about those at this point.”

Mr Neumann told The Queensland Times he had spoken to the Mayor about his concerns, such as the lack of a doctor at the Ipswich Showgrounds on the morning of the flood peak.

“I got there and they asked me to go get syringes and medication,” Mr Neumann said.

“The council tried to close down the Riverview Evacuation Centre, which was housing 90 people at the time, which was a ridiculous idea. The Mayor knows how angry I am about the stuff-ups in managing the flood.”

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