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clockwork the river city

cleaning up the muck and doing it impressively. Hello, I'm Joe

Brisbane on ABC News 24. O'Brien. We're live from

Queensland experiences record

flood levels as the MacIntyre

River tests the town's levee.

The flood threat extends to

western Victoria as a reservoir

breaks its bangs at Beaufort.

breaks its banks at Beaufort. You're watching ABC News 24's

ongoing coverage of the Queensland flood crisis. Queensland flood crisis. Hello,

I'm Brigid Glanville. While the immediate danger's passed immediate danger's passed for

Brisbane, the battle to protect

lives and property from rising the Queensland capital to

Goondiwindi. The town's levee

is holding back the swollen

MacIntyre River, while the

hospital and nursing home have been evacuated. In Brisbane,

all available resources are

being used to clear the streets

of the toxic brown mud of the toxic brown mud and restoring

restoring essential services.

Meanwhile, in the devastated

Lockyer Valley, the grim task of recovering and identifying

bodies continues. The official toll of victims stands at The number of missing has

dropped to 55. Authorities say

they still hold grave concerns

police have charged 10 people for 12. Meanwhile, Queensland

with flood-related looting in the past 24 hours. the past 24 hours. Let's go

straight to Brisbane and to the

ABC's Joe O'Brien. Joe, there's

plenty of activity on the

streets of Brisbane? There They're screaming and shouting streets of Brisbane? There is.

everywhere. It's been like an

army of worker ants here.

Thousands of people coming to

businesses back on help clean up the muck and get

There are still places in

Brisbane underwater. It is

Basically, the water going to take a while for them.

in those areas because the river has got to a river where it's basically within river has got to a river where that's not the case but basically within its bank those

the water that is in basically pooled there and areas where the houses are has

for that to evaporate or pump it out so that's going to take a while to do. a while to do. The Chamber of

take a Commerce is

economy to recover. reports. First came the water, economy to recover. Karl Hoerr

now the cleanup. Just as they'd

helped try to get as much as hit, Rosalie hit, Rosalie residents chipped

in to help business owners with the mess. Only yesterday

the shops in this popular village were entirely underwater. Further south, heavy industry has copped a

battering. Business

are only now seeing what's left behind, their stock in Shipping containers are strewn across the area and across the area and other large

objects came to rest in the most unusual places. The

Brisbane produce markets at

Rocklea would normally Rocklea would normally be bustling in the early Instead, they're idle. As the city woke, a much calmer Brisbane River emerged. dramatically over night but water remained around the bottoms of city buildings. pumps were working overtime. As

the murky water vanishes from the roads, the sludge appears. Many people worked through the

night on the cleanup once they were able to get back to their homes. The returned to their Chelmer, still in awe of the

flood. I just watched the river become in here. Despite all the basically and flowed straight

damage, they say it could have been much worse. We've got a bit of work to do the

wasn't destroyed. It didn't go upstairs. That would have a major drama. Others lightly. Just the fear of losing

and the people that have everything, it's

first priority will be harsh. The Lord Mayor says the

including the Ipswich Motorway.

The task of reconnecting power

to homes and businesses is free public transport city's southeast will be lowed

next week. The people of Brisbane are tired but with

scenes like this you wouldn't know it. Karl Hoerr reporting there. We're in the suburb of

Rosalie. We might take the this looks like a couple of

nights ago. I have kind nights ago. I have kind of lost track of time now. Take a look at the pictures. We're standing underneath now the Cold probably see that in the vision

being played. The water came up

to about a metre and a half

through here so all these shops

through here had water through them but the good thing was a

lot of people came to help them

get all their gear out before the water went through. We

might just take a wander into

this shop because we had a chat

to the owner here on the night

that it happened. Donna, can we

interrupt you there for a moment? How's the cleanup going? As you can see, it's

not too bad. We've had some

wonderful people, again as I

said the other day, people that

have just come out of the

woodwork and have justed helped

us, it's been fantastic. Did you basically get everything

We've got out except these cabinets?

blast freezers, a big ice-cream

machine in the back which is

probably the most expensive

part of our business. All our product was product was still in there. We didn't have anywhere didn't have anywhere to store that so main ly the smaller stuff

stuff we got out, stuff we got out, things like

the cups and the essences. How long have you owned this

place? 13 years. That's a long

time. It is a long time. A lot

of memories have just washed

still down the road. At least you've

Yes. One of the business still got some of them.

operators here was saying he's

pretty optimistic of getting back on

back on deck by early next week. How are you looking?

would say it will

three months maybe, I'm not

sure. Some of our walls, our

owner of the building walls

have to be redone, we'll have

to possibly have freezers and stuff all rebuilt again.

Cabinets have to be made as well. Have working hard? John has working very hard. He's

actually complaining he's

dirtier than me. He's been

doing the hard yakka. I notice

you've got a cut band nled up

on your arm there. What

happened there? I was - 1 of

our neighbours said they would

store some stuff for us and I walked

walked through a hedge and scratched it and I have been

told to cover it up but I

didn't do a good job. Not the

best. How do you feel now that

the water's been and gone and

you see what you've got left with now? with now? A little bit

intimidated because we don't

know where to start or to do before the insurance

companies come along or the landlord wants to start work straight away on replacing straight away on replacing the walls which means we've got to remove our cold rooms and

freezers that we've got out the

back. Are you going to have to

put staff off for a couple of months? We will. months? We will. We've spoken

to a few of them and said we're really glad for what they've

done for us but we can't them to stay unemployed just

waitinging for their jobs back. Nay are all they're going to come back. They like working for us. What

about the insurance We've been told a couple of

times that we are insured.

We're just hoping that the

agent is correct with that.

Life's much easier when you can

get some insurance claim out of

it. If we had to - if it had to

come out of our pockets we'd

have to rething

and John, thanks very much for

talking to us and good luck

with the comeback. Thank you

very much, Joe. Thank you, guys

for your coverage because that

makes our situation aware to the rest of the public. Cheers. Good luck with it. Thank

you. So that's the situation

from the Cold Rock Ice-creamry

in downtown Rosalie and as you

heard, it's had a devastating

effect on some effect on some businesses here. Some are going to be able to

reopen soon, others are going to to be out of action for months

and have to put off staff.

That's the situation from Rosalie. It must be pleasing

for you - I know you've spoken

to Donna quite a few times over the last few days and we've all

watched the water rise outside

their business so it's good to

see they're getting things back to normal. Yes, I was

surpriseded it's going to take them a couple of months them a couple of months where

other businesses are hoping to be back in business within a

few days. It obviously few days. It obviously varies from business to Thank you. In Goondiwindi, Thank you. In Goondiwindi, the MacIntyre River's expected to

peak at 10.85m, just below the levee of 11m. Across the

in NSW, the townships of

Boggabilla and Toomelah are already isolated. Reporter

Phillipa McDonald filed this report from Goondiwindi. report from Goondiwindi. The weather has topped weather has topped its record high but so far the levee bank

in Goondiwindi is holding.

Everything's been very accurate and we're very happy that the

night's over and we're here for haven't got any rain. With

this much water coming down the

MacIntyre River, the warnings

have been ominous for the

town. We now can confirm that Goondiwindi

Goondiwindi is headed for a

record-ever flood. Last night at the airport, medical evacuations were under way.

The patients that we've been

dealing with are nursing home patients

patients that are unable to walk on their own, unable to

travel in a bus so they need to go via stretcher so we've go via stretcher so we've been

loading them into the ambulance, describing here and transferring them on to here

to stretchers for the RFDS to

ferry out. Also, preparations

were being made to look after

the injured. Brit's son Jesse

was one of the first to treated in the makeshift

hospital after he fell off a motorbike. I rang up the hospital to see where we could

go because I knew they got evacuated. They said to come here. They've got everything.

We're now commencing a

voluntary stage one voluntary stage one evacuation. Hundreds of

residents were urged to leave

their homes on the banks of the MacIntyre River. In the end,

about 60 people spent the night 7-week-old baby Mikhaila, her parents stranded the roads are cut. Thought it the roads are cut. Thought would be the safest option for us. From the us. From the air, Goondiwindi

is surrounded by vast amounts of of water and while there's optimism of a narrow escape, optimism of a narrow escape, no one's leaving anything to chance. chance. Brisbane's Lord Mayor Campbell city's major arterial roads may be at risk of falling Coronation Drive, which connects the CBD with concerns. He says the river level and silt has made it difficult to inspect potential damage. It's not fist time the fist time the riverside arterial has caused authorities concern. It suffered damage in the 1974 floods damage in the 1974 floods and in 2000

in 2000 si, a major onramp was closed when cracks closed when cracks were discovered, driving traffic in of people are expected to access the Federal Government's Centrelink disaster recovery payments in the coming days.

Cooper spoke earlier with centre link's general manager about

with the extra demand. With more than 25,000 flooded in Brisbane, the great task from

every bit of assistance they can get. Hank is the general manager

me anow. Thanks for us. Pleasure. How are you coping with the calls coming in asking for help? asking for help? Look, yesterday alone we took We've had to around the country. At the moment we've got something like 2000 2000 staff working on providing support. There are two main forms of assistance we're providing on behalf of What all they? the payment for people that

have been severely affected floods. That's $1,000 per adult and $400 for each basically if you've lost basically if you've lost your house, if you've been injured from going to your house or if you've from going to your house then you can qualify for payment. There's also another payment that payment. There's also another

is for businesses, farmers and

workers that have lost income as a result of the flood as a result of the flood and that's being paid at the

equivalent of the New Start allowance which is the normal unemployment benefit. It must greatly increase the workload

for your staff. How does combear to other natural disasters you've seen - compare

to other natural disasters

you've seen? This is pretty

much on par with the Victorian

bushfires. From our bushfires. From our point of view, it view, it presents a huge

challenge, as you can imagine,

because we doing our business as normal.

We've been helped out by some

of our sisteragy - sister agencies, Support Agency, Support Agency, which have provided us with additional

staff to help us cope. From our point of view, we're

determined, and in fact we've

been directed by the Government

to be as flexible as possible and to make sure we get those payments to people as quickly

and with as little and with as little bureaucracy

as we can. And for that reason,

most of our business has been

most of our business has been done on the phone or evacuation centres we've got staff on the ground. Thanks for joining us. Pleasure. Once again, the great priority for authorities now is to reopen the streets of Brisbane as the streets of Brisbane as the

waters recede, the levels here in

in the Brisbane River have come

down to 2.5m and below, now

it's time for the cleanup.

Hayden Cooper there and here's

Nick Doyle with a news update.

More than 2000 people have More than 2000 people have been evacuated from their homes in

Victoria after heavy rain swept

across the State. The areas Beaufort and Great Western are

flooded, as are Maryborough and

Krezwick. Evacuation orders

have been issued for Halls Gap, Charlton and Glenorchy.

Thousands of people in regional

Victoria remain without power

and many roads have been cut. The Weather Bureau says western

Victoria has received more rain

in the past five days than it does

does in an average summer. Like Goondiwindi, the NSW town Goondiwindi, the NSW town of

Boggabilla has also been affected by MacIntyre River. Hundreds of

people have been evacuated

there after a record-breaking

peak was forecast. For the

latest on the flooding there I'm joined by Phil Campbell at

SES headquarters. What is the

situation in Boggabilla now?

We do have an easing situation and good news for the and good news for the first

time in that community. The

flood peak has passed through

the town and is now heading

towards Goondiwindi. It has proved to be about 20cm proved to be about 20cm lower than the potentially than the potentially record

peak that was forecast late yesterday that concern for us within the State

Emergency Service over the past 24 hours. We have had reports from on the ground of quite lot

of water through the town and in

in parts of the village of

Toomelah as well, however, it

seems as though only a small

number of properties have number of properties have been directly inundated certainly very good those people in Boggabilla those people in Boggabilla woo have been evacuateded and are their homes. What about the river around Grafton? A orders yesterday. It looks like the situation the situation might be easing there as well? It is indeed.

We have had the flood peak now

go through McLean on Clarence Valley. We Clarence Valley. We still have some major flooding downstream

of Grafton. That is resulting in around 6,000 people remain isolated. remain isolated. The SES has been using flood boats to ferry

mail, milk, bread and other essential items down from Grafton to Grafton to Iluka, Yamba and couple of days. One good news

story is the small community of Cowpa has happens in Brushgrove, with

hopes we can get resident back into that commune as quickly as possible. Broken Hill residents

have also faced flooding over the last 48 hours or so? the last 48 hours or so? That weather system that is causing

so much grief for the Victorians 220 requests for broken Hill. That includes flash flooding flash flooding as well as leaking roofs and The SES has crews to the city to provide support for support for local volunteers and we have extensive isolation in western all the all the roads in the unincorporated Campbell at thank you thank you for your time this afternoon. Thank you. Flooding in Sri Lanka has their homes. At least 2 ipeople have died during a week of - 23 people people have died during a week of monsoon floods with the

mudslides and in Brazil, death toll from the flooding

and mudslides there has now

gone past 400. Heavy rain triggered a torrent triggered a torrent of water which destroyed bridges and

roads, cut electricity and severely hampered efforts. Doctors say the speedy

recovery of a Congresswoman who was shot last short of miraculous. Gabrielle

Giffords is now sitting up and able to move A

charged with her attemptd assassination as well as killing six other event in Tucson. Yesterday the Congresswoman opened her eyes

for the first time and for the first time and doctors say that's an say that's an important development. Miracles development. Miracles happen

every day and in medicine we them to either what we do others do around of medicine is outside of our control and we're acknowledge miracles. Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected the 34-year-old Martin Stephens, a member of the so-called Bali sought a sought a judicial review last year after the courts upheld his sentence. He argue heed was

sentence. He argue heed was not involved in organising the drug smuggling ring and should

given a more lenient sentence there was no new could be used to reduce

concerned about the prospect concerned about the prospect of revenge attacks following revenge attacks following the overnight shooting of Cross Cross identity John Ibrahim was

shot twice in the legs outside

his home in the western suburb

of marelands. He was taken to

Westmead hospital where he's in

a stable condition. Police are

investigating whether the attack was gang related and

they're appeal ing for any witnesses to come forward.

Andular are be back with another update shortly. Thanks, Nick. Many Brisbane residents

and business owners are

returning to their properties

for the first time today after

fleeing the rising waters. ABC reporter Kathy McLeish spoke to

Jason Coolen, the owner of a

cafe in West End, about the

damage that's been done to his property and the big cleanup

task ahead. We didn't get

flooded from the front. The

water went to 4.5.

to 5.5 we would have got it

from the front. The damage came

from the back. We have a major council stormwater drain. The sandbag created a dam and it came over through the back, the courtyard. We had back, the courtyard. We had 700 sandbags around the building. It went over building. It went over the sandbag s? Came over the sandbags and literally went underneath the floorboards. Just bubbled up through the

floor? Yes, it's nearly 100-year-old floorboards.

What's it like when sandbagd, prepared and just here and watched the water

rising? It's like a family

member our shop is, not just for me being

for me being a business owner but 26, 28 staff and everybody really

really cares about the place

and everybody's watching a

family member slowly family member slowly drown.

It's quite disheartening but

we're not the only ones in the

same boat. Obviously everybody

- there's people a lot worse

than us, they've lost their

homes and so on. We can rebuild very quickly. support crew. That's something

that's come across today, that

feeling of compassion around as

well. Everybody I've spoken well. Everybody I've spoken to,

people like you who are facing

an enormous task ahead and a

loss of business and a big

impact but people are saying

there are people worse off than us. That's right. I have us. That's right. I have some very good friends. I've got a

plumber and a carp wanter who's

putting - carpenter who's

helping by sandbagging or just

like yesterday pumping all the water out of the place and so

on and it's also very good people

people around. We just had people around. We just had the

Christian outreach crew came

over to help us take a lot of

sandbags away. Is sandbags away. Is that really - are you needing that now? Are

you needing that man power?

It's man power but it's also like moral support. There's

people around you just wanting to chip in and I think that's

really important. Not so much -

there's only so much people can

do actually in trying to do a

cleanup but I think a lot of

home owners, I guess, home owners, I guess, and

business owners who've been affected, it is like a

support, "We're standing side by side with each other and

you're not going to be alone.

Don't be disheart nled. We're

all going to be in

and we're going to be up and running fairly quick but

there's people out there who

will be spending months. I hope

people around Brisbane or Queensland or Queensland or Australia can

chip in and really provide

moral support more than

anything else for people. Do

you thing Anna Bligh said it for us all yesterday, you know,

remember who we are, we're

Victorian bushfires or overseas, doesn't all hear about it. I think

Queenslanders show that you all hear about it. Queenslanders show that you see the true character

Queenslanders show that you see the

on. You're with ABC News 24. on. You're with ABC News 24. We welcome Queensland on ABC 1. Rebecca

joins us now with an

stocks faring? The markets

from yesterday. The major banks are making some reasonable stocks. The All Ordinaries index and index and the ASX200 are pretty flat. BHP Billiton's giving up almost 1%, almost 1%, the oil and gas

producer Santos is extending yesterday's gains, up close yesterday's gains, up close to

2%, QR national sup three-quarts of a per cent after after confirming coal supply services to Gladstone in Central

Central Queensland will return next today after making some announcements which we'll here more about stocks are mixed. Hong stocks are mixed. Hong Kong's

hang seng is the stand-out and

Japan's Nikkei is Japan's Nikkei is edging loyer. To commodities and spot gold is

edging higher but west crude oil is steady. The Australian Dollar is still fighting to fighting to get back to parity

with the greenback. It's currently worth 99.6 US cents. Qantas has reached a United States class action over

an alleged freight cartel. an alleged freight cartel. The payment is based on freight

revenue to and from the United fined in Australia, Europe, the US, Canada and Korea for illegally raising freight charges along

2001 and 2006. While the lawsuit is now class action in Australia which the airline says it will continue to fight. It's also announceded it will scrap

direct flights from Australia to San Francisco in services to Dallas, services to Dallas, Texas.

There's been only subdued

growth in Australia's renal market during basis, rents for houses while the cost of renting units fell a fifth of fell a fifth of a per cent . Sydney, Canberra and Darwin are currently it most expensive capitals for rental properties

and Canberra is the stand-out for growth with shortages and wage shortages and wage increases driving rental prices surprisingly big jump in the number

number of complams for benefits in the United States - claims for claims for jobless benefits in

the United States. The number of last week to 455,000, highest level it comes after last week's

disappointing US jobs report the next hour with for December. I'll how the markets the next hour with an how the markets have closed the

week. More Queensland floods

have wipeded out fruit and

vegetable crops across the State and routes into major cities. With

shelves bare in supermarkets

throughout flood throughout flood affected

areas, residents are facing

food shortages. Kate Karnell is

the CEO of the Australian food and

and grocery council. We've

actually got the food and groceries, whether it be from fly suppliers in and around Brisbane or the south Brisbane or the south but

trying to move it into warehouses and supermarkets is

a real issue. We've had some

bakeries who have had trouble those sort of things that have

been the issue but as soon as we have roads reopened and access to warehouses and supermarkets, food will flow very quickly. Air-lifting is happening already to North

Queensland because the issue Queensland because the issue of gettinging food and groceries even from Brisbane up to Mackay, Rockhampton Mackay, Rockhampton and

Townsville is very real so

air-lifting is happening to

those places but in terms of

Brisbane and southeast

Queensland, it's really wherever possible got road so grirts to see the

floodwaters recede quickly and hopefully weal rer be able to

get trucks back on the road as

a matter of urgency. A lot of

fruit and vegetable crops have been wiped been wiped out and Queensland

provides about 25% of Australia's fruit and vegetables, particularly in areas like Asian greens, pineapples, melons, broccoli,

capsicum. There's a whole range

of products we really will have

some shortages for a while, not just

just in Queensland but right

across Australia and I think Citibank somewhere between 5 and 10%.

We're not expecting We're not expecting huge

increases but we will see

increases and we'll also see

some flood-affected stock on

the shelves and I hope people are understanding about that and go ahead and buy it anyway

because we've got to support

the farmers. Remember, it's the farmers. Remember, it's not just Queensland just Queensland that's had

floods, it's many other parts

of Australia so this is quite a

general problem in the food and

grocery space. There's grocery space. There's been food, groceries from south of the border, it's just really now a matter of

being able to get them out into the Brisbane and southeast Queensland areas. further north it's much more

difficult until the roads are

open, it means we're reliant on

air drops and those are pretty

difficult to do. So it will

take a little while but a lot

of people will find stock is back on the supermarket shelves

very quickly but it's important

that they buy what they need, the food and groceries have got

to go around, people will to go around, people will be needing to restock whole

households so probably just in what you need, don't hoard. And

you can keep up to date with

the flood situation in

Queensland on our website at abc.net.au/news. There are also

links to a emergency services.

If you are in Brisbane and

Ipswich, tune into your local

ABC radio, that's

dial now let's get an update on the crisis. Authorities concede there

is a chance of some missing Queensland flood victims never

being found. The Statewide

death toll so far is 15. The Police Commissioner Police Commissioner says

emergency workers are covering more than 200 kilometres waterways in their search. And

more than 2,000 people have

been evacuated from their homes

in northern and central Victoria after floodwaters

swept through the region. The areas

areas of Beaufort and Great Western are flooded as are

Maryborough and Cresswick.

Thousands of people in regional

Victoria remain without power Victoria remain without power

and many roads have been cut. begin to appreciate the

enormity of the clean-up task

ahead in Brisbane. Most

alarming was the view of the sodden sodden wasteland that is south western suburbs. Sunrise over south western Brisbane and thankfully the suburbs thankfully the suburbs are

looking more recognisable after the river level dropped. The damage and the damage and the potential suffering is becoming clearer. Rocklea, 11 kilometres Rocklea, 11 kilometres south of the CBD, Brisbane markets, Queensland's biggest fruit an vegetable distributor, is a wreck. Its

condition highlights the

difficulties this city faces in trying to provide trying to provide basic healthy living all over Australia are all over Australia are bringing produce to produce to the Sunshine State, giving

giving them access is one of the many The Lord Mayor has vowed to open roads as a priority

this morning many key arterials were still deserted. Save for a deserted. Save for a patrol car here and there. Suburbs Chelmer, St Lucia, West End were all drowned in yesterday's

peak. They're a factory pallets, factory pallets, pieces of

buildings from the and backyards. In contrast, some places are appear in better health. The

riverbank in Toowong beside the iconic regatta hotel

to start that dreadful heartbreaking clean-up but I know people are very keen to

get see the see the damage, to see what's happened to their homes and that water moving out of the

city is a sight we're very pleased to see. Home and business owners not quite ruined spent last night and this morning cleaning up,

property by property, room property by property, room by room. It's a silent monster.

Watching the floods and making assessments sort of sort of listen to the information on the radio and working out what part of your

business is worth savouring and

what fear of losing terrifying. The people that

have lost everything, like, it's harsh. Resident Vanessa peaked. She was one of the first to return. And it's a

dark, anxious time. The I don't know that they're I don't know that they're safe there has already been people,

some children in some children in the street chased like they were up to no good. We don't know how secure

the properties the properties are. I'm looking out for shouldn't be 'cause here. Hundreds of here. Hundreds of Queenslanders will use the light of a new day

to wade back to wade back into their properties to see what future holds. The river no apologies and no apologies and continues purging itself after brought so getting under way in Brisbane this afternoon. this afternoon. Kim Landers joins me now. It seems joins me now. It seems hour by

ur hour, it just ur hour, it just is amazing how quickly the clean-up going on. It's a hive activity here. That's few hours ago, there were piles

of debris in a lot of of debris in a lot of these streets. And then streets. And then just as quickly as it piles up a truck

arrives, a whole heap of people

coming out, they check all the debris onto the truck debris onto the truck and off they go and another pile of debris starts to some ways, the clean-up is happening really, really quickly quickly here. But it is never ending in some other

Parliaments because this is not

something that's just going to be completeed in be completeed in a simple

morning or an afternoon. As can

you see behind me they're now

cleaning up a spa that was here

in the Brisbane suburb of

Rosalie. There are a lot of volunteers helping to do this

they've broken up a lot of the Woodsiding from inside this store and they're now heaping

it onto these big dump trucks A lot here to help out, volunteering their time, dump truck owners

and that sort of thing. The defence minister Steven is holding a media is holding a media conference in Perth. We'll listen to now. The Prime Minister has announced today arises as a result of the Prime Minister's and my visit to Brisbane on Wednesday. In the course of Wednesday we met with premier Bligh and her disaster management expert committee. We

also met with major general

Slater who heads up Slater who heads up the recovery and reconstruction

task force. And also of course,

with Colonel Foster, who heads

up the Queensland flood assist

task force, and I visited the

Enoggera barracks with the

Prime Minister and also the

Amberley Air Base which

Amberley Air Base which the Prime Minister visited yesterday and today. As a

result of those discussions it became clear that the

Queensland authorities people of Queensland would benefit by a significant expansion of the Defence Force

effort. Already we're seeing the Queensland floods the Queensland floods move from immediate disaster relief,

search and rescue and recovery

to the initial clean-up stage. That

That is certainly true so far

as Brisbane and Ipswich are

concerned. It is of course less

true of the Lockyer Valley, where there continues to be

very considerable work done by Queensland authorities and the Australian Defence Force

rescue and recovery operation. And there in the Lockyer Valley

you find not just the you find not just the presence of over 15

100 defence personnel, but the continuing use of helicopters to assist in that search and rescue and recovery operation.

But it's quite clear that in

the rest of the state we're

moving to the initial clean-up

stage. The task force, the Queensland flood assist force will now transition to

assist in that initial clean-up

stage. I'm not proposing detail again the contribution which the Australian Defence

Force personnel has made,

whether through the 19 helicopters that have been

operating the C-130s and the C

17s who are continuing to do

food and essential supply drops

to isolated communities in the

north of the state, and those regulars and reservists helping with the helping with the sandbagging

and already starting cleaning

up in Brisbane, I won't detail

what is already comprehensively on the record. I will simply

say that we are very grateful

and thank very much all of those regulars and reservists

who have made a significant

contribution to the Queensland

flood effort since the task

force was established on 1

January. It's been a terrific

effort, and when the dust

settles and the waters recede and

and the story is told, there will be great stories of search and rescue efforts effected by

the Australian Defence Force

the use of helicopters in the Lockyer Valley when that violent storm and flash flood

was at its peak. If I was at its peak. If I can

detail the purpose and the make-up of the 1,200 personnel

who will engage now in that initial clean-up be clean-up, debris removal, road clearance, road

and helping with the initial

restoration. All of that work

has to be done prior to making judgment beings the judgment beings the long-term recovery and reconstruction

which of course is the task

force that Major General Slater heads removal of debris, the clearance of roads from today. In terms of the clearance of from today. In terms of the 1,200 1,200 personnel, initially the personnel will come 1,200 personnel, initially the personnel will come from Queensland, starting with the seventh brigade based at the Enoggera barracks. And at the moment where we have between 550 and 600 defence Queensland on the operations at the moment, the majority will come from the

army. Rule of thumb, army. Rule of thumb, very much

rule of thumb,. The rule of thumb,. The 600 personnel about 400 are from the army, 50

from navy and over 100 will come from the army and we'll start with the 7th brigade based brigade based at Enoggera barracks in barracks in Brisbane. But they will be complemented by Air Force and navy personnel.

In the Force personnel from the Amberley Air

Amberley Air Base are very keen and will with the with the clean-up and initial

recovery in Ipswich. Amberley of course is based adjacent to Ipswich. When Amberley on Wednesday, we flew over Ipswich and the expansion of the flood in Ipswich of the flood in Ipswich is frankly mind-boggling. So there is a significant job to is a significant job to be done in Ipswich and RAAF base Amberley and its personnel are very keen to the first instance the contribution also come from Queensland, they will of Queensland, they will of course be complemented by Defence Force personnel from other

States. In addition to that clean-up, the removal of

debris, the clearing of roads, the clearing of street, the clearing clearing of waterways, what we're also working very hard we're also working very hard on

at the moment and we are committed to providing in conjunction

conjunction with the Queensland authorities is a significant engineering contribution. The Australian Defence Force and engineering and whilst in

main this is used for military

and defence purposes and we are

of course highly experienced in

using our engineering capacity

for humanitarian relief disaster relief for humanitarian relief and disaster relief and natural disaster

disaster management Mott just

in Australia but in Australia but overseas.

Whilst I hope to position to announce the

precise detail of that

engineering contribution early

next week n the main it will

involve the following: the engineering component will firstly involve an engineering reconnaissance stage,, reconnaissance stage,, an inspection and an assessment of infrastructure, an infrastructure, an inspection and assessment of waterways. The infrastructure will particularly relate to bridges and to culverts and we

expect we will be able to a significant contribution in

the construction of temporary

bridges, and in the repair of

culverts. And that will culverts. And that will provide very significant contribution

to opening up transport, to opening up communications and

to restore ing roads and

waterways to essentially their

original state and to a useable

and a moveable capacity. addition that engineering capacity, we will have already

and will make a more

significant contribution to

water purification. In recent weeks and days we've had a

water purification unit

operating in the north and the

west of the State. And in the

course of the last 24, 36 hours

we've also engaged in actual

water delivery but there will

be, we believe, a significant

demand for water purification

and we will be able to, we believe, provide a believe, provide a substantial contribution on that front.

contribution on that front. The announcement today goes to the

detail of the 100 detail of the 100 personnel who

will assist in the --

1,200 personnel who will assist in the initial in the initial clean-up, the removal of of debris and the

initial recovery stage. We'll also make a significant contribution so far as

engineering is concerned that will particularly relate to the

construction we believe of

temporary bridges and to temporary bridges and to the repair of culverts. We're Mrs

In our discussions with the at what longer-term at what longer-term ongoing niche or specialist contribution that the Defence

Force can make to complement

the existing capacity and capability of the Queensland emergency services and forces. And those specialist or nish niche nish niche capabilities will be required nish required for the longer-term recovery and reckon strubs and will continue to be in will continue to be in close consultation with the Queensland particular matter I would to draw attention to today which falls of Queensland flood assist task of Queensland flood force. You earlier today, the Premier of Queensland Anna Queensland Anna Bligh indicate that Queensland that Queensland had requested Defence Force to assist essentially state of Moreton Bay and the Brisbane River in the margins of ensure that Moreton Bay and the

river is clear of any submerged substantial debris blockages. We are very happy to meet that meet that request of the Queensland Government. It's

very important that the waterways, particularly access

to the ports, are clear and the Queensland authorities and the ADF have in recent days worked

very hard to do their best to ensure debris running down the river

was kept to a minimum. That

work will be affected through a mine counter measure task force. And we're also

the use of a mine capability which

course is essentially a

capability which the mine counter task force and the other task force will have. That That task will important to the people of Queensland and to commerce in Queensland, the Queensland Port Queensland Port Authority. That

work will commence we expect in work will commence we expect in

the next 24 hours. We the next 24 hours. We already have have one navy underwater group in in Brisbane that will of course need to be complemented for this specialised or this specialised or specific task. Can I conclude where task. Can I conclude where I,

in a sense, started. That is to thank very much

and the reservists from the

Defence Force who have been help this year and some sense late

last year in the last year in the Queensland relief Defence Force personnel at

Enoggera and at Amberley earlier in the of them had come off leave

voluntarily to assist. The chief of the Defence Force in my discussions with him during

the week and today again made the point that very the point that very many reservists are out streets helping both Brisbane regular reserve out there helping in there helping in Brisbane, but very many individual reservists

have done what so many Queenslanders is to get out there individually and help. individually and help. We complement them very much on for it but their enthusiasm to

the task has been matched by all Queenslanders to all Queenslanders to help their neighbours and help friends and help their family

members. So I'm happy members. So I'm happy to

respond to your questions. How

long do you expect the 1,200 there? Well, the longer-term

reconstruction and recovery

will of course, as the will of course, as the premier has said, as the Prime Minister has said, as the mayor of

Brisbane has Brisbane has said, take a long

period, many months. The

clean-up, which is what the

1,200 strong personnel task

force is to designed to assist,

the clean-up, the initial removal of debris, the initial

recovery mode, we expect to

take weeks rather than months. I'm precise timetable on it. It

will dependent on the rate at

which the water recedes,

whether that is in Brisbane,

whether that's in Ipswich. But

we envisage that to be a period

of weeks rather than months.

You can see as circumstances change and as the change and as the priority

changes and the needs change

we're now transitioning from a focus on search and rescue and

recovery through helicopters and Bushmasters, to that initial

initial clean-up expect months, but our commitment and the Defence

Force and its

Force and its personnel commitment is to do the job. We

expect a matter of weeks but

time will tell. That's subject to the current continuing and to the receding

of the waters, whether the

waters are in Ipswich or Brisbane or Brisbane or the Lockyer

Valley. This 1,200, will Valley. This 1,200, will they be based in be based in Brisbane or Toowoomba? Our commitment is

to assist with the clean-up to assist with the clean-up and

removal of debris in Queensland generally of people adversely affected,

there will be a focus on

Brisbane a focus on Ipswich a focus on focus on the Lockyer Valley. We

will also do that work as

required in parts of the north which have been previously

adversely affected by the

floods. Earlier than the Toowoomba disaster, and flooding in Brisbane Ipswich. But it is an all of Queensland

the e precise disposition and allocation of personnel is will be a matter determined on the

ground by the task force conjunction with the Queensland emergency management authorities and the police

forces so those operational

things will be determined on

the ground, but the overall contribution, personnel has been a result our conversations with the

premier, and the

by the chief of joint

operations in consultation

obviously not just with major general Slater from the recovery and task force but also with

Colonel Foster. The precise

disposition will depend on

circumstances on the circumstances on the ground. But again But again as circumstances change. For example, change. For example, I have been surprised at the rate at which today the water in Brisbane has receded, and the

rate at which people in Brisbane community have been

able to start the cleaning-up process. We think weeks rather than months. We think than months. We think the need will will be throughout Queensland, not just restricted to Brisbane or Ipswich or increase that number

further? Currently the advice is that will be more than sufficient for the purposes.

But if at any stage we get a request from request from the Queensland Government or the Queensland authorities for authorities for an additional contribution we'll contribution we'll obviously positively and positively and favourably consider that as we essentially in response emergency authorities, the Prime Minister and the CDF Queensland authorities. We believe

believe this is a substantial contribution which will help see the job see the job done. Given the nature ... (inaudible question) I have previously said and I said it

the week and I have said it publicly, we have to steel already, it is the case personnel have been personnel have personnel have been involved in

the recovery of deceased people

and the transportation of deceased people's deceased people's bodies. So that is performing. In conjunction performing. In conjunction with the Queensland Police and the

Queensland emergency management authorities. We need from time

to time to constantly to time to constantly remind ourselves that in Australia, in

disaster relief and disaster

relief management, in the first

instance it's a matter for the

States and Territories and a

matter for the civilian

authorities. I have to say, how much the Prime Minister and I much the Prime Minister and I I were impressed with the Queensland civilian authority were dealing with a very

difficult task. We are working in support of the authorities. So as we week in

the Lockyer Valley, we're using our Bushmasters, our small number of amphibious vehicles. We're also using our high wheel

base trucks to transport Queensland Police and Queensland emergency management

offices, on the Bushmasters you

will find a combination of Queensland emergency service

officers and Defence Force

personnel. We of course continue to use the helicopters. The contribution we can bring is in the first

instance by way of equipment. have access to the same number of helicopters or to

Bushmasters or to high wheel base army trucks or base army trucks or to amphibious vehicles not supplanting the Queensland officers or personnel or officers or personnel or the police. We are police. We are complementing that and assisting them. So

they are - have always been and

remain in charge of the operation and we assist operation and we assist them, but yes, there and difficult work for Defence

Force personnel to do. And they're doing they're doing that willingly and they're first-class manner. They will

have access have access to counselling if they need if? One of they need if? One of the niche or specialist areas that looking at is the use looking at is the use of Defence Force Defence Force psychological services services to complement the psychological psychological services

available at the state level. our personnel when they perform

these difficult tasks, whether it is in a military or environment or a disaster also believe that the potential is there to make some of those complement the state-based services for police and for emergency personnel. In comparison to other disasters that the Defence Force has been involved with, involved with, how does this compare? Well, certainly, it our largest Australian-based disaster relief the Defence Minister. the Defence Minister. We'll leave it but Minister gave some more details

on the Defence Force personnel

that were announced earlier this morning by Julia Gillard.

They will be putting on 1,200

Defence Force personnel to help with the clean-up, the

clearance of debris and the clearance of the roads and he said that's starting today and

he also talked about water News 24. In a moment we'll continue Closed Captions by CSI

The clean-up begins The clean-up begins as Brisbane residentses return to

survey the flood damage. Goondiwindi in southern

Queensland experiences record flood levels as the MacIntyre

River tests the town's levee.

The survivors of the inland

tsunami in the Lockyer Valley return to their shattered towns

and share their tales of

horror. Mum and dad were gone

and the water was so strong

that I just - in my heart I

knew they mightn't Sydney the flood threat extends

to western Victoria as a reservoir breaks its banks reservoir breaks its banks at Beaufort.

You're watching ABC News

24's ongoing coverage of the

Queenslanded into crisis on ABC

News 24 and ABC1 in Queensland.

Hello. I'm Bridget Glanville.

While the immediate danger has

passed for Britain the battle to to protect lives and property

from rising floodwaters from rising floodwaters has shifted west to the Queensland

town of Goondiwindi. The town's

levee bank is holding swollen MacIntyre River swollen MacIntyre River while

the hospital and nursing home

have been evacuated. In Brisbane, all available

resources are being used to

clear the streets of the toxic brown mud and brown mud and restoring

essential services. Meanwhile, in the devastated Lockyer

Valley, the grim task Valley, the grim task of recovering and identifying

bodies continues. The official

toll of victims stands at 15. Kim Landers is at Kim Landers is at Rosalie.

Let's go to her live Let's go to her live now. Steven Smith the Defence

Minister was saying he was

surprised at how quickly the

waters were receding. And waters were receding. And how

quickly the residents had got

under way cleaning up. Is that what you found today? It's certainly

certainly what we're seeing

unfolding here in the suburb of Rosalie in Brisbane. There's

been an army volunteers steadily all day. So you've

seen all of these shops being stripped of their stripped of their fittings. And

it's all being piled up on the

footpath and then a swarm of people emerges. A big

truck arrives or sometimes a

little Bobcat. They're loading

up these trucks. Sometimes it's

people simply towing a trailer

behind their ute. All of these

people are helping load all of

this debris into these trucks

and drive it away so literally

before our eyes, we're seeing

mounds and mounds of debris

disappear. The clean-up is

going quite quickly. But some

of these volunteers here, one

of the

earlier is a lady by the name

of Alex Bromley. She has come all the way from Deception all the way from Deception Bay

to help out. Tell me, why

you come all the way from

Deception Bay? It's our city.

We love our city. We all have to pitch in. What sort of things have you been things have you been doing? Pretty much filling up trucks

with debris. We emptyed a house out just down the road. Is out just down the road. Is it difficult work, hard to be

picking up people's possessions and just truck? It is a bit sad,

yeah. Do you plan to come back

tomorrow? I don't know there

is a lot more we can do here.

We might go somewhere else

tomorrow. Are you surprised how

quickly this debris is being

moved and cleared? It's unbelievable. It's completely

different scene now to what it

was when we arrived at

11.30. Perhaps that recovery

effort mightn't be as bad as

some had feared. So many people are getting rid of all the garbage

will be quicker, but the rest of it, there is a lot of work

to do down there. Have you met a lot of people who've come

from all around the traps? Mainly locals I

quite funny. We started off

down the street, down that way

and everyone that is here has

followed, we've come in the same sort of group, come

around. You have met a good group of people? Everyone is

good here. This is the story we're hearing over and over

again here in the suburb of

rose lee. Everybody is pitching

in to help. There can't be too Everybody is still needed. There's lot of traffic, police are directing cars about to allow these trucks and Bobcats

to get in. So the effort to get in. So the effort is going pretty smoothly I have to say. By the sounds of say. By the sounds of things, it's very well amazing how people amazing how people organise themselves. I saw a guy themselves. I saw a guy running up the street before saying

who's got a big bob quality? I need to move a big freezer?

Suddenly one motors down the

road. It swings into action. I

mean some of this debris is

pretty smelly and obviously absolutely sodding wet. As

they leave the sort of rubbish

on the gutter, whether it's

couches, I know that Campbell Newman was saying yesterday and

today that he wanted people to

get rid of food straightaway

out of fridges and freezers,

and is that all dump and being taken

away? There are special fins where the food waste is being put into. That's a separate

pile of debris if you like. You

know where those bins are. You

get a closer to them and boy

they pong. The food waste is being being treated separately. And the rest of the stuff like the

sidings from shops interior

walls, carpet, fittings, that sort of thing is being piled sort of thing is being piled up on the footpath. That's what these big tip-trucks like this

are taking away. Kim Landers

we'll let you get away

we'll let you get away from that no doubt smelly

Thank you. Kim Landers there.

Still in Brisbane as the river

subsides the true extent of the damage is now starting to

emerge. Large parts of the city are litterd with debris and

thousands of homes and

businesses remain without businesses remain without

power. First came the water,

now the clean-up. Just now the clean-up. Just as

they'd helped try to get as

much as possible out before the

flood hit, Rosalie residents chipped in to help business

owners deal with the mess. owners deal with the mess. Only

yelled the shops in this popular village were entirely

under water. Further south

heavy industry has copped a battering. Business operators are only now seeing what's left

behind, their stock in ruins.

Shipping containers are strewn

across the area, and other

large objects came to rest in

the most unusual places. The Brisbane produce markets Brisbane produce markets at Rocklea would normally be bustling in the early morning.

Instead, they're completely

idle. As the city woke, a idle. As the city woke, a much calmer Brisbane River emerged. The dramatically overnight, but

water remained around bottoms of city buildings. The

pumps were working overtime. As the murky water vanishes from

the roads the sludge appears. night on the Many they were able to get back to their homes. family returned

at Chelmer, still in awe

at Chelmer, still in flood. I just watched the river become become our backyard basically and flowed straight in

here. Despite all the damage they say worse. We have a bit of work

to do. A lot. But the to do. A lot. But the house wasn't destroyed. Others wasn't destroyed. Others too thought they'd got lightly. It's terrifying. The people who have lost everything, like it's harsh.

It's harsh. The Lord Mayor says the first priority reopening roads. Major arterials remain cut off, including the Ipswich The task to homes and businesses immense. Residents of the

city's south-east will be allowed for the next week. The for the next week. The people of Brisbane

scenes like this, you scenes like this, you wouldn't know it. Let's cross now to Let's cross now to our reporter Peter Lewis who joins us from Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. What are you hearing about the reports Coronation Drive could be Coronation Drive could be at risk of risk of collapsing? As we heard in Carl's package one of the big prioritys big prioritys is to get the main arterial roads here in Brisbane cleaned up and reopened to try back moving again. That

priority plan has hit a snag unfamiliar with Brisbane, it's a

a very wide

boulevard that stretch s from the city to the suburb of

Toowong. As we've seen, just over here to the will see, traffic has been at a standstill today because they SIM simply can't get on Coronation closed through floodwaters. indicated that there may be some structural some structural integrity issues surrounding the

reopening of Coronation Drive. Particularly the lanes of that wide Because of the damage and

because there has been so because there has been so much silt and water over that council engineers haven't been able to get to 1974, there was some landslides in some landslides in that southern southern area of Coronation Drive, around the Brisbane watering hole the

regatta hotel. They have some structural integrity Coronation Drive. That Coronation Drive for some days and possibly not back at work, it will cause

major traffic problems I would imagine in Brisbane? One of the two key corridors to the and of course what it's forced

motorists to do is to take motorists to do is to take some alternative route through the western suburbs. It's been traffic has been diverted through the city and up through

other parts of the western suburbs on roads which frankly aren't designed to cope with

this amount of traffic. People

are trying to dot best they can. Police appealed to can. Police appealed to them

this morning if they didn't

have any genuine business about

being on the roads they stay off them and already stay off them and already in the time we've been here the time we've been here this

afternoon, we've seen a number of emergency vehicles of emergency vehicles trying to get through get through this gridlock

between major hospitals here on the south side of the river over to the north side and they

are facing some big are facing some big traffic issues and it's what authorities feared authorities feared would

happen. And if Coro Drive stays closed throughout the and into next week, it's going

to create some major problems in getting this city back its

in getting this city back on

its feet. Has the Lord Mayor

given any indication of

concern