Flooded communities remain resilient

09 March 2012

As the worst of the floods have moved south of the Queensland border, Frontier Services has continued to support the residents of remote Australia affected by the deluge.

Flooding has settled across Queensland and residents have begun to return to normality, however townships in Northern NSW have been evacuated as roads become inaccessible and water threatens homes. Northern South Australia is battling too, with some locals believing it may be ten days before they can return to their normal routines.

Frontier Services Cobar Nyngan Patrol Minister Rev Ian Tucker has travelled out to Bourke, Brewarrina, Weilmoringle and Goodooga three times in the past three weeks to support and counsel residents whose homes and properties were damaged or under threat.

“The residents here are used to it” said Mr Tucker. “But, it is still very unsettling for people when they are evacuated out of their area for several weeks.”

Mr Tucker said Weilmoringle was currently suffering the worst of the flooding with only six people left in the town, which normally is home to 250. The rest of the residents have been evacuated to the neighbouring towns of Dubbo and Bathurst.

In Brewarrina, residents are relieved that they can finally use the roads and drive into the township for much needed supplies.

Parkin Patrol Minister Rev John Dihm, who covers an area of about 500,000 square kilometres in outback South Australia, said that many residents in the flood-affect north of the state were stranded due to last week's torrential rain.

"We do a lot of phone calling around and we make sure people are OK that way," he said.

"Morale is good. People are quite understanding, quite resilient and they're used to this sort of stuff.

However, Mr Dihm said that he hopes the flooding abates soon as many families need to travel to get supplies.

Frontier Services National Director, Rosemary Young stated that the need for support will continue even after the flood waters have receded.

“The need for support is going to be greater than it ever has been before, even though in some ways the damage is less,” she said.

“In flooded communities our Outback Links volunteers and our staff have been able to provide practical and emotional support, but it’s staying with those communities as they recover for years to come that is critically important.”

It is not just the immediate damage which takes its toll on communities when natural disasters occur. Often it can take years for funds, insurance pay-outs and resources to be made available to erect fences and repair damage.