Roads such as this one at Mt Sylvia have separated Carol Coleman, Robyn Diete and Noulin Miners from their families. Now, with new wheels, they stand reunited with their loved ones.
Roads such as this one at Mt Sylvia have separated Carol Coleman, Robyn Diete and Noulin Miners from their families. Now, with new wheels, they stand reunited with their loved ones. Rob Williams

Given 4WDs to get kids to school

EMOTIONS are running high for a handful of Lockyer Valley mums who have been separated from their husbands for almost two months.

Until yesterday the journey from Gatton to Junction View and Black Duck was impossible for many families after rain washed away roads and destroyed crossings.

But with the delivery of four government four-wheel-drive vehicles, parents are able to drive their children to school safely, and families have been reunited.

Mt Sylvia resident Julia Crust, who has been rallying to get vital infrastructure back into the remote communities west of Gatton, said the delivery of four-wheel drives into the region was great news.

“They have lent us the vehicles to take the kids to school up here and use them for the community,” Mrs Crust said.

Black Duck resident Robyn Diete has lived with her mother at Gatton since heavy rain destroyed roads vital to access her home.

“I’ve lived up there all my life and we have never needed a four-wheel drive before this,” Mrs Diete said. “We only have an all-wheel drive and there is no way you can cross half the roads out to our place. Many of them don’t even exist any more.”

Noulin Miners, with her two young daughters, have been living with her mother-in-law at Gatton for several weeks and described being separated from her husband and their personal possessions as heartbreaking.

Despite Main Roads working around the clock to repair damaged infrastructure in the Lockyer Valley there are dozens of roads west of Gatton that remain inaccessible.

“A trip that would normally take us about half an hour has now turned into a journey that can take us up to an hour-and-a-half,” Mrs Miners said.

Many of the women who have lived at Gatton since several storms lashed the region on December 27 said they had been forced to drive through paddocks, private properties and rough terrain just to meet their husbands.

“It’s been really tough for us and our families,” Mrs Miners said.

“All we keep hoping for is that they fix the roads soon.”

The four-wheel-drive vehicles are available to isolated residents until the roads are fixed.



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