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Transcript of interview with Mark Ferguson: Channel Seven News: 12 January 2011: Queensland floods; foreign assistance for floods



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Minister’s Office: 02 6277 7500 or 0466 745 615

The Hon. Kevin Rudd MP

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR GRIFFITH

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH MARK FERGUSON

CHANNEL SEVEN NEWS

12 January 2011

Subjects: Queensland Floods, Foreign Assistance for floods

E & O E - PROOF ONLY

MARK FERGUSON: I sure am Chris, yes good afternoon. I'm here with Kevin Rudd, you've got two hats on this afternoon Mr Rudd, you're local MP, what's happening in your electorate?

KEVIN RUDD: It's wet mate. I've been around to quite a number of the suburbs late last night and this morning. Water's coming in, people are leaving their homes. Some are being, as it were, evacuated by instruction and direction. A lot of people have got their furniture out, some have been better prepared than others.

The really good thing is community spirit and neighbours pitching in with other neighbours, discovering neighbours they never knew they had. But I think if I was to try and summarise the mood it's one of grim determination because they don't know what this beast is going to do in the next 24 hours or so.

Minister’s Office: 02 6277 7500 or 0466 745 615

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MARK FERGUSION: Putting on your other hat what's been the reaction from governments overseas to what they're seeing unfold here in Brisbane?

KEVIN RUDD: Phenomenal. I was just talking an hour ago with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, I was walking my way to some poor persons garage.

Solidarity from those guys is terrific, they're making contributions to the Premier's appeal here to help out families. But that's symptomatic of what you get right across the world, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, Indonesians, the New Zealanders, this has captured the world's imagination.

I think the world's used to us going out to help people, they're not used to us being in a position where we need help. That's why they have made such generous offers, and our emergency services people and the military are working their way through what if any of that kit and equipment could be useful in the future.

MARK FERGUSION: You've watched this river for longer than most. What's going to unfold here, do you feel, over the next 48 hours?

KEVIN RUDD: The big verb you used there was feel. What we know and what we feel are different things. On the know side we've got to go with what the hydrologists say which is this will be bigger than the '74 flood.

In every suburb I've been to this morning whether it's West End, whether it's Fairfield or East Brisbane or Norman Park and places like that they've all got their '74 markers and everyone's making their judgements according to that. They're sticking a metre above that and another metre above that and making their own assessments.

What do I feel? I feel that, as I said somewhere yesterday, if you're a praying man it's the time to do some praying.

MARK FERGUSION: All right, we'll let you keep praying and let you keep getting out and about in the electorate. Thank you very much for your time this afternoon.

KEVIN RUDD: Thanks also to your viewers, particularly those from across the country who have been giving to the Queensland Premier's Appeal. That really helps because a lot of families who just fall through the cracks in terms of what formal entitlements are. So to people right across the country thank you as a Queenslander for what has been extraordinary generosity and continue to dig deep.

MARK FERGUSION: Good on you Mr Rudd. Thank you, thanks for your time.