22 March 2023
Communities cut off for months by seasonal flooding in northern Queensland are calling for upgrades to key bridges and crossings to better secure important road links in the region.
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson today met with representatives of communities isolated by floods since Christmas last year and supported their call for Federal funding.
“These floods are annual events, however this year they have been exceptionally disastrous for the communities like Doomadgee, Burketown and Gregory,” Senator Hanson said.
“These communities can only get essential supplies by helicopter at the moment, at $40,000 per flight. They’ve been cut off since Christmas and it’s estimated this situation will continue for at least another four weeks.
“I very much appreciated representatives of the Burke Shire Council and Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council taking the time to meet with me to discuss their proposed solution to the problem.
“I fully support their proposal, which would require $75 million to raise crossings at Running Creek, Barkly Creek and Brookdale Invert, and raise bridges on the Nicolson and Gregory rivers.
“If the Albanese government can deliver more than $4.5 billion in aid to foreign countries, surely it can afford $75 million for desperately needed infrastructure upgrades right here in Australia so these communities can have more secure transport links for essential supplies and medical services.”
Senator Hanson said the supply and medical situation had been compounded by flooding of the Burketown airstrip. “This has restricted fixed-wing flights into the area, so only helicopters with lower capacity and greater expense can be used for supply runs and medical evacuations,” she said.
“In addition to bridge and crossing upgrades, which would significantly reduce the amount of time these communities are isolated by annual floods, we should also be prioritising raising the Burketown airstrip and building a disaster evacuation centre at Doomadgee.”