Thank you, Chair.
I rise to speak about the flood impacts in my Ward and how my residents responded to it.
I’m proud, as I’m sure all other Councillors are, of what we’ve witnessed on the ground in the suburbs during the past week and a half.
We have all seen examples of heartache and despair and at the same time, resilience and that famous Australian spirit of helping a friend or neighbour who they believed was doing it tougher than they were.
While my Ward fortunately didn’t experience the extent of residential inundation that my fellow western suburbs colleagues, Councillors Hutton, Mackay, Toomey and Matic confronted, my major issue was one of isolation.
When Moggill Creek and Kholo Creek rose quickly on the Saturday night cutting off sections of Moggill Road and Mount Crosby Road, it effectively meant that about half of my Ward was isolated from the rest of Brisbane.
Karana Downs, Mount Crosby, Kholo and Lake Manchester became one island and Bellbowrie and Moggill another.
And that remained the case until late last Wednesday when the flood waters receded sufficiently to allow traffic through.
It became apparent very early last week that both communities were going to require additional food supplies if they were going to be cut off for any length of time.
Karana Downs is serviced by a small family grocer and residents were cut off from supermarkets in the Ipswich LGA with Colleges Crossing going under. And while Moggill has a Coles, residents stripped the shelves bare when the rains set in and the re-supply trucks were unable to get through.
In additional to that, the advice we were getting from the local SES at Karana Downs was that the local doctor was in need of some urgent medical supplies including insulin.
I flagged the need with both the Lord Mayor and the Local Disaster Co-ordination Centre for an urgent airdrop of supplies into these isolated communities and was given an assurance it would happen. For that Lord Mayor, thank you.
While we waited for confirmation on the likely timing of an airdrop, the need for an interim delivery of medical products and food to carry them through, became an issue.
Enter my local Federal and State representatives, Julian Simmonds and Dr. Christian Rowan and an unlikely hero in local resident, James Robinson.
Out of the blue, James, a successful businessman who the three of us know well, and who owns a helicopter, called me to offer help if needed.
Things began to move quickly last Tuesday, knowing that we had access to his helicopter.
The LDCC arranged for the list of necessary medical supplies to be collected at Ipswich and James did the first of three drops that day to the local SES waiting at the Mt. Crosby State School Oval.
His next delivery was food purchased by Mr Simmonds which was air-dropped to the Bellbowrie and Moggill communities and then in the afternoon, food purchased by Dr. Rowan and I, along with prepared meals and as much bread as we could fit into the chopper, courtesy of the Kenmore Rugby Club, was airdropped into the Mt. Crosby State School Oval.
That provided sufficient relief to carry local residents over until the following day when a much larger helicopter undertook six deliveries of food between Wacol and Mt Crosby.
Chair, to see the look on local residents faces as they lined up outside the Mount Crosby State School last Wednesday afternoon and to hear their words of appreciation for the Schrinner Council’s efforts to help them in their hour of need, was something I will long remember and proud to have been a part of.
In addition to those I’ve already mentioned, I want to public acknowledge the efforts of Julie Francis and the Karana Downs SES team and Mark Kerle from the Moggill SES, Principal Chris Muir, Paul Brown and Olivia Laurens and their team at the Mt. Crosby School P and C and the local Karana Downs Police who were at the other end to ensure the products were received and distributed in an orderly manner.
There were a number of other good deeds by good local people – too many to mention tonight – that demonstrate what community is about.
To say I’m proud of how mine responded is an understatement. Thank you.