Staff disregarded own needs to help others
IN preparation for Monday's flood, which reached 20.3 metres about noon, Gympie Regional Council staff worked around the clock from early Sunday morning when the alert was raised by the Local Disaster Management Group.
Nearly 100 council staff contributed to out-of-hours disaster response efforts since the beginning of last weekend, many not seeing their own homes until the community was safe.
Gympie regional Mayor Ron Dyne said that council staff helped keep the important functions of the Local Disaster Co-ordination Centre running around the clock, while also attending to important council services, such as water and waste, and roads infrastructure.
"A 24-hour hotline was set-up and staffed by council officers to assist affected residents both as the event unfolded and in the aftermath," he said.
"Crews were dispatched to inspect roads and key infrastructure, and report on their condition."
On Tuesday, the council hired a helicopter to send a technician out to help restore the potable water supply at Kandanga and Amamoor a day earlier than would otherwise have been achieved.
The helicopter also enabled key council staff to conduct early visual assessments of some of the hardest hit areas in the west.
Many councillors also provided important links to their communities, with Cr Sachs and Cr Gate also undertaking key roles in the co-ordination centre.
"I would like to thank all those who contributed on behalf of council for their hard work and dedication to help the Gympie region get through yet another devastating flood event," Cr Dyne said.
"Early assessments put the damage bill up there with - and probably higher than - the 2011 floods, so we've got a lot hard work ahead of us and I know council staff do appreciate the support and understanding they receive from the community."
Cr Dyne said the inter-agency response from members of the Local Disaster Management Group was remarkable, particularly given the speed at which the flood event occurred.
"I'd like to personally thank all those involved, including police, ambulance, fire and rescue, SES, Energex, Main Roads, Gympie Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce, and the many other organisations, business operators and individuals that also pulled together to help people in need."
Information about the various financial assistance programs and other support services available to residents and business operators can be found at gympie.qld.gov.au or by phoning 1300 307 800.