East Ipswich Lifeline furniture store employee Graham Heit cleans up after the floods.
East Ipswich Lifeline furniture store employee Graham Heit cleans up after the floods. David Nielsen

Lifeline counts damage costs

THREE of Lifeline’s five second-hand goods stores in the Ipswich region were damaged to some extent by the recent flooding.

The biggest, at Jacaranda Street, was the worst affected – with 4.5 metres of water flowing through – and won’t be back in operation for two to three months.

Colin Hannigan, Lifeline business manager for Ipswich and West Moreton, said the widespread destruction caused by floodwater was horrific.

He found a shipping container perched on top of the gates at Jacaranda Street, and had to get a crane to take it off.

The stock and fittings losses are expected to amount to about $300,000.

“This is the largest Lifeline store in Australia,” Mr Hannigan said.

“We’ll salvage a few shopfitting racks. We’re insured.

“When I saw the damage, I actually thought ‘we can rebuild this’.

“I’ve been involved in disasters before but nothing of this magnitude.

“We’ll need an army of volunteers when we re-stock.

“It won’t impact on our programs.”

Two feet of water went through the Gatton Lifeline store, which is being re-stocked with furniture.

Mr Hannigan aims to have the Goodna store restored in a month.

“We’ll move that crew from there to Jacaranda Street,” he said.

Lifeline is currently not looking for furniture donations.

“We’ve lost about 40 donation bins that are somewhere in the river system,” Mr Hannigan said.

“We’re fine for stock and meeting urgent need where we can.”

Mr Hannigan has been surviving on little sleep since the flood.

“I was at St George leading a community recovery counselling team and was brought back on the Sunday night,” he said. “We got flooded on the Monday.”

Lifeline will be one welfare group relied upon to replace the household goods lost by families in the flood.



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