Residents fear they are forgotten
WULKURAKA residents who say they have been left out of the flood recovery have vowed to band together and help each other.
Two of the residents, Ian Bush and Pat Rowe, spoke to The Queensland Times to vent their frustration after their homes were flooded.
“I called the council twice to get a skip bin out here and they said they were too busy, the Army didn’t come, the SES came here three days after everyone cleaned up. Fourteen houses went under in this street alone,” Mr Bush said.
“You saw all those other suburbs mentioned. No-one seems to know what’s here. If we don’t exist, how can we get insurance?
“I don’t know what the story is really.
“I’m just getting on with doing the rebuilding ourselves, just getting friends and family to help me.
“It’s demoralising; we’re not whingeing and bitching, we just want recognition.”
Mr Bush said he was having trouble getting insurance cover because he was covered for flash-flooding but his insurer claimed it was river flooding.
“I spoke to the insurance company on Friday the 17th and they said we are in a black zone because we were near a stormwater drain. They said they would have to wait for the hydrologist’s report,” he said.
“They said they would look at it on Monday and would have an answer this week. I called back and the guy was at lunch.”
Mr Bush and Mr Rowe said their street flooded because a nearby drain blocked and overflowed the day before the Bremer peaked at 19.45m.
“The 19.5m level would have been just to our front steps. I had 1.55m through my place,” Mr Rowe said.
“I couldn’t get anything out to my mum’s place because the road to Rosewood was blocked.
“For a relatively new estate the drainage is inadequate and there’s 160 new blocks that will be plumbing into the same drain.
“We only bought our house 12 months ago and we don’t want it to be worthless. It’s not good enough.”
Mr Bush said when he and his wife Lisa got out of their house the water was coming up the street at walking pace. Within an hour it was halfway through the house.
He said he just wanted a fair deal because he was faced with paying to rebuild his home out of his own pocket.
“We got $6000 from the government but it’s over $10,000 just for the kitchen,” he said.
“So far I’ve spent $25,000/$26,000 and it’s nowhere near finished.
“We’re not claiming for thousands of millions of dollars; we just want what we’ve lost.
“I’ve got two jobs, we’re busting our arse and it’s putting a strain on our marriage.
“We’ve had no help from anyone; we’ve seem to have been forgotten.
“The people up the road who weren’t affected offered to help.
“Without family and friends we’d be screwed.”
Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale said he sympathised with people who felt left out but said help was a two-way street.
“I don’t want any person in Ipswich to feel isolated,” Cr Pisasale said. “But if people want help they need to let us know.
“That’s why we’ve got the campaign called Help Us Help You.
“I can only say again: ‘Please let us know if you need help’.”