Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones.

Mayor's jibe at "useless" flood help

LOCKYER Valley Mayor Steve Jones has described some of the professionals sent to help his region cope with flooding disasters as "useless".

Cr Jones spoke out at a meeting of Queensland mayors held in Brisbane yesterday to discuss their experiences of natural disasters.

And he warned his colleagues that much of the assistance his region had received was of little practical help.

He described to his audience the impact of the "inland tsunami" that swept through much of the Lockyer Valley in 2011 and recounted how many communities, such as Laidley, had been flooded again earlier this year.

"2011 was not something we ever expected could happen," Cr Jones said.

"When 2013 came, we were much better prepared to deal with it than in 2011."

Cr Jones said one of his key lessons was not to trust those apparent experts there to help.

"I'm referring to departments both federal and state," he said.

"If it happened again, we would need someone permanently monitoring the people helping us.

"Some of the people who are the most professional are the most useless."

Mayors from North Burnett, South Burnett, Lockyer Valley, Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Southern Downs and Gympie took the stage at the event.

Each mayor praised their council teams, disaster planning and their communities for coming together.

Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne said he would now pay closer attention to how many hours some workers were on the job.

"I had a staff member who looked like death warmed up and I had to throw him out of the centre because, otherwise, we would all end up with what he had," he said.

From January 25-28, ex-tropical cyclone Oswald dropped more than 1000mm of rain as it stalled west of Rockhampton.

The destruction was then visited on the Wide Bay and Burnett areas, dispatching five tornados in the region. The low then moved towards south-east Queensland, smashing the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast and parts of northern New South Wales before heading out to sea.



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