Queensland councils band together

Central Highlands Regional Council assisting flood recovery in Brisbane.

Council Crews from across Queensland have converged on the flood-ravaged south-east corner of the state to lend a hand with the clean-up effort.

Workers from councils including Mackay, Gladstone, Central Highlands, Rockhampton, Redlands and the Gold Coast have given their time and, in some cases, travelled away from family and friends – often for weeks at a time – to assist SEQ communities return to normal life as quickly as possible.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson, said local governments in Queensland frequently support each other in times of greatest need.

“I cannot commend or thank these generous councils and their people enough for their efforts,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“In times like this, councils are often the first out of the blocks to lend a hand to their fellow councils doing it tough in the wake of a natural disaster.

“For our local government family in Queensland, it is second nature to do so.

“We believe every Queensland community deserves to be a liveable one, and the willingness of these crews to volunteer – and their councils to lend their equipment – to help communities get back on their feet faster shows they believe that too.

“The LGAQ’s Council to Council (C2C) support program has again proven its worth, with councils once more supporting each other in times of crisis.

“The councils that need help right now are some of Queensland’s largest councils, who have been called on to assist others in the past, so it’s great to see the favour returned.”

Mayor Jamieson also offered his heartfelt thanks to the 22 councils that make up the Western Queensland Alliance of Councils for their generosity in donating to the Premier’s Queensland Floods Appeal.

“This generous offer from our western councils came straight from the heart and on behalf of the LGAQ and our Wide Bay and south-east Queensland members I want to say thank you,” he said.

Paola Iona from Emerald led a team of four Central Highlands Regional Council workers who were part of the clean-up in Brisbane.

“It’s a good feeling to get down here and help out,” Mr Iona said.

“I didn’t hesitate when they asked me to come down, [I said] ‘yep, I’m going’.

“We’re just making it nice for people to start using the park again, to make them feel safe, and make it pretty again for the community.

“There’s a community spirit here [in Queensland]. Some people need a hand; it happens to us too.

“This time we just want to come and give them a hand and maybe another day, they’ll come and give us a hand.”

Six Queensland councils have already sent crews to assist with the efforts, with several more ready to activate crews for phase two of the clean-up.

The LGAQ facilitates the Council to Council program, liaising with councils to send help where it’s needed. The program was last activated in the 2019 monsoon event, where councils from all over Queensland supported Townsville, Flinders, Richmond, McKinlay, Cloncurry and Winton.