Theodore starts flood clean up

CROPS DROWN: The swollen Dawson River engulfs cotton crops near Theodore.
CROPS DROWN: The swollen Dawson River engulfs cotton crops near Theodore.

THE clean-up from the Theodore flood has begun, following four days of much of the district looking like an inland sea.

The Dawson peaked on Monday afternoon at 13.49m, but residents had to wait for another two days to be able to start the clean up.

Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper visited the sodden town yesterday, helping with the recovery effort.

He said Fruit Salad Corner was open to light traffic for trucks under five tonnes, to limit further damage.

Cr Hooper said various government agencies were in town offering assistance to affected residents, including the 40-odd people out of work, among 27 sawmill employees.

On Tuesday, Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts activated personal hard- ship assistance for residents in Banana Shire Council, after visiting Theodore.

Mr Roberts said the extended assistance was in addition to measures already available including concessional loans for primary producers and small businesses and funding for councils to cover the cost of damaged public infrastructure and disaster operations.

"Personal hardship assistance will ensure residents adversely affected by the flooding can access immediate assistance of $170 per person or $780 per family," Mr Roberts said.

"Individuals who have experienced personal hardship in these areas should contact the Department of Communities Disaster Relief Assistance Scheme hotline on 1800 173 349."

Mr Roberts said Restoration of Essential Public Assets, Counter Disaster Operations, and Disaster Relief Assistance pro- visions had been progressively activated in recent weeks.

Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin said producers and small businesses could apply for concessional loans of up to $250,000 at 4% and producers could apply for freight subsidies of up to $5000.

Contact QRAA on freecall 1800 623 946 or www.qraa.qld.gov.au for information on the special grants and loans, or the DEEDI Business Information Centre on 13 25 23 or www.dpi.qld.gov.au for information about freight subsidies.

The river peaked at Moura at 12.2m on Wednesday.

The Dawson was expected to peak last night or earlier today in Baralaba at 12.5m.



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