Kelly and Robert Crothers have had help rebuilding their home from (back, from left) Mick McLaren, Scott England, Todd Basham, Jason Baldock and Michael Knagge from Young and Cootamundra.
Kelly and Robert Crothers have had help rebuilding their home from (back, from left) Mick McLaren, Scott England, Todd Basham, Jason Baldock and Michael Knagge from Young and Cootamundra. Rob Williams

Southern saviours are heading home

A GROUP of 27 hard-working tradies will return to their homes in central NSW this weekend knowing that they have improved the lives of dozens of flood-devastated Ipswich residents.

The Saviours from the South have spent the past week rebuilding homes in suburbs like Goodna, Brassall and Karalee, giving their time and expertise for free for up to 12 hours a day.

Among the Ipswich families to have been rescued by the tradesmen from Young and Cootamundra were Robert and Kelly Crothers and their four children – the youngest of whom was born a few days before the family had to flee.

Only a couple of roof tiles poked through the top of the flooded Bremer River last month as the Crothers’ home went under.

When they returned, everything was ruined and their insurance only covered them for a miniscule amount of the total damage bill.

“They told us the 1974 flood only got to bench height, so we put all of our electrical items in the roof,” Mr Crothers said.

“Of course when we got back it was all on the floor, along with the insulation.”

Possessions have been at the end of the family’s list of priorities though, as they are understandably eager to return home.

Mrs Crothers said the work carried out by the tradesmen this week would speed up the agonising process.

“When the Tornadoes rugby league club told us these guys were coming it was like a light at the end of the tunnel for us, because we were looking at a wait of 12 months before we could get back in,” she said.

Cootamundra-based volunteer Jason Baldock said the visiting tradesmen had been looked after brilliantly while in Ipswich.

“It has been good to help someone out. People have been good to us,” he said.



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