Leaving the Ipswich Evacuation Centre are Falaniko and Lesina Mamea (centre both wearing blue) with their children from left, Julia, Danny, Ula, Maria, and Pepe, Falaniko’s sister Elielia Faigaa and her daughter Cynthia Aki.
Leaving the Ipswich Evacuation Centre are Falaniko and Lesina Mamea (centre both wearing blue) with their children from left, Julia, Danny, Ula, Maria, and Pepe, Falaniko’s sister Elielia Faigaa and her daughter Cynthia Aki. David Nielsen

Family finally leave evac centre

NIKO Mamea is grateful for the help his large extended family got at Ipswich Showground, but after nearly three weeks it's time to go home.

They will move into a temporary home the Red Cross helped him find, as the evacuation centre at the showground closed yesterday.

“We live in Parker Street in Goodna. We had to get out on Tuesday night,” Mr Mamea said.

“We were shocked the water would go that high. We put the furniture about one metre higher then got out.

“We went back the next day and all the streets were cut off and looking over, it was just water; we couldn't see the roof.

“It was a big shock.”

He said he and his wife Lesina moved to Goodna from Sydney three years ago, and they had five children.

Mr Mamea said the police in Goodna told him the evacuation centre, at its peak, fed 600 displaced people.

“In here we have been well looked after by people from all over the place – Perth, Sydney, Los Angeles, Queensland,” he said.

“But we can't wait to get out really; we've been here almost three weeks; especially the kids are getting bored.

“We've just got a new place we can move into in Booval. It's temporary until we can find a proper place. We got it with the help of the Red Cross. I miss Goodna but I can't go back there.”

The showground will now play home to a recovery centre where people can get advice including information about insurance, removing debris, temporary accommodation and rebuilding.

Ipswich residents affected by the Queensland floods are able to access financial help and counselling services at The Bremer Institute of TAFE on Byrne Street, Bundamba, as well as the showground.

Applications for financial assistance can be made in person at the Community Recovery Centre or by calling 1800 173 349.



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