Townsville no longer a “disaster” but still a long way to go

Townsville is no longer disaster declared but there is still a long way to go before the North Queensland region returns to normal.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford today signed the declaration lifting the disaster status on the advice of the State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Bob Gee.

Mr Crawford said the decision came after it had been determined that the risk of loss of life, illness or injury to humans; risk of property loss or damage; and damage to the environment had significantly reduced.

“Taking into account all of these factors, I have determined that the disaster situation should be ended,” he said.

The Townsville Disaster District includes the local government areas of Burdekin, Charters Towers, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island, Richmond and Townsville, which are all now in full recovery mode.

“There’s still a really long way to go and we are now fully focussed on recovery,” he said.

“Within the next 24 hours our evacuation centres should be empty with everyone in need in proper accommodation.

“Most of our schools are ready to be open and hopefully they will all be re-opened by the end of this week.

“We’re also working with our western communities and property owners who are still dealing with rising flood waters and the aftermath of floods.

“There continue to be shocking stock losses and we know they are really hurting and we are doing everything we can to get help to them.”

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Queensland Government’s Disaster Management website at www.disaster.qld.gov.au and the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

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