Recovery co-ordinator first step to bush rebuild

State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has backed calls for a dedicated recovery co-ordinator to be urgently instated for the North Western region.

Mr Katter said while State Disaster Recovery Co-ordinator Major-General Stuart Smith AO DSC (ret.) had been tasked with recovery for both the Townsville and North West flooding disasters, he feared this role was too broad and people (likely
in the bush) would slip through the cracks.

He has now called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to urgently split the roles so that the two, very separate, flooding events can be given the attention they need.

“The two flooding situations were each catastrophic in their own right, but they are very unique from one another, and lumping them together under the charge of one co-ordinator is neither fair nor effective,” he said.

“It’s also a huge ask of Major-General Smith; we desperately need someone dedicated to the North West to oversee what is going to ultimately be years and years of re-building.”

Mr Katter, whose electorate of Traeger covers most of the communities affected by the North West floods, said the priorities in the bush now were: disposing of dead livestock, fixing the roads and rail, facilitating long-term options to help
producers to get back on their feet and supporting local businesses.

He said these issues were drastically different to those currently being faced in Townsville.

“All levels of government as well as volunteer groups and local businesses have really rallied in the face of what has happened, and this has been commendable,” Mr Katter said.

“We can’t let that good will slide; politically the KAP will be ensuring both the State and Federal Governments follow through with their promises to the region.

“This is my main priority from here on out, but before anything progresses further we need a dedicated recovery co-ordinator on the ground to oversee everything and ensure all stakeholders are being involved, communication lines are open  and effective and governments are delivering what is needed when it is needed.”

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