1 Feb 2013

Limited assistance seen yet for flood aftermath

6:50 pm on 1 February 2013

Frustration is rising in parts of Queensland over a lack of assistance to deal with the aftermath of flooding in the Australian state.

In Gayndah, south-west of hard-hit Bundaberg, many residents have been without power and waiting for help since Sunday. The death toll in Queensland stands at six.

Queensland deputy premier Jeff Seeney has questioned building standards, after newly repaired infrastructure was wrecked again by flooding.

Repairs to some roads and bridges damaged in 2011 had only just been finished when they were washed away again by ex-cyclone Oswald.

The state government is estimating the total damage could run into billions of dollars.

The ABC reports the federal and state governments have not managed to the settle the bill from the last disaster, so the question of who will pay for Oswald's damage is expected to be a drawn-out affair. Many low-lying homes were uninsured because of hefty premiums.

The floods have taken a toll on the agricultural region around Bundaberg. The ABC reports everything from sugar cane to blueberries, citrus to macadamia nuts come out of the Wide Bay-Burnett region which is known as Queensland's salad bowl.

North of Bundaberg, at Rockhampton, the Fitzroy River is expected to rise to 8.5 metres on Friday.

But AAP reports the flood is not expected to be as bad as January 2011, when the river reached 9.2 metres and inundated more than 200 homes and businesses.

Deputy mayor Tony Williams, said most Rockhampton homes are built on stilts because the city is flood-prone.

"This one will be business as usual. We're seeing 8.5m as relatively comfortable. There shouldn't be too many houses that have water above the floorboards."

There is already some flooding in the city, with about 0.5 metres of water in some backyards on Friday.

The Callaghan Park racecourse on the northern side of the river is flooded, but horses were moved before the heavy rains arrived. Nearby soccer fields are also under water.