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Transcript of interview with Derryn Hinch: 4BC, Drive: 12 January 2011: Queensland floods



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The Hon Julie Bishop, MP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Deputy Leader of the Opposition Member for Curtin

4BC, Drive with Gary Hardgrave and Derryn Hinch

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Subjects: Queensland floods

E&OE…

GARY HARDGRAVE Julie Bishop, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, does join us. G’day Jules.

JULIE BISHOP Hi Gary, how are you?

GARY HARDGRAVE Yeah, we’re fine. Derryn Hinch is at 3AW, I’m at 4BC and you’ve been in Brisbane today. What are you seeing, what are you hearing?

JULIE BISHOP Well I’ve been in Brisbane since Monday night. Currently I am at the evacuation centre at the showgrounds. There are about 800 people here, they are expecting 700 or more for dinner this evening. I am helping Teresa Gambaro MP out in the canteen. We are working here just providing food and essentials for people.

I have been out in the suburbs this morning helping out with other local members, Jane Prentice out in Ryan. We were at St Lucia and people were frantically sandbagging, moving furniture - I saw a grand piano being moved out of one home - and just helping people out.

It is a slow moving but really concerning scene here. When I say slow moving, you can watch the river and almost be mesmerised by it.....

GARY HARDGRAVE It’s all consuming, it’s all consuming.

JULIE BISHOP .......then you realise, when you see the debris and the boats and the pontoons and the walkways being washed down the river, you realise that the peak has not yet been hit.

I had a briefing with Campbell Newman earlier today and he was pointing out that, to put it in context you know the Port Office Gauge that’s the benchmark for…

GARY HARDGRAVE It’s concerning.

DERRYN HINCH Ms Bishop, Derryn Hinch here.

JULIE BISHOP Yeah sure Derryn.

DERRYN HINCH Look I will put this nice and delicate, you guys must find it hard to work out some times for photo ops and when you should be there and when you shouldn’t be there. Because you need to be there but then you get criticised when you go some places. How do you handle that?

JULIE BISHOP Well you obviously take advice from the emergency service people and the authorities. Nobody wants to push their way into where they are not wanted or needed. We are very conscious of that. I am going to places where people want to talk to you, they want to tell you their

concerns. If I can help out with sandbagging or working in the canteen then I do it.

But everybody is involved here. There is a very good morale, the spirit is very determined, people are resolute, they know what is going to happen in terms of the flood and peaking and being in excess of the 1974 flood levels - everybody in Brisbane can recall how devastating that was - but people are determined to just get on with the job and I am part of that. I am not here for photo opportunities, I have been doing what I can to provide information to people who are asking for it. That is why I have been having briefings -from the Lord Mayor, from the Police Commissioner….

GARY HARDGRAVE I have got to say Julie we people in Brisbane actually want people right around the world, indeed right around Australia, to understand the size of this thing. Three quarters of the massive state of Queensland has been dubbed disaster declared. A week or so ago 800,000km2 of this state was under water. To put it into context that is like dropping the entire state of South Australia in the drink, like dropping Tasmania, New Zealand and New Guinea in the drink, it’s like dropping California, Nevada and Maine in the United States in the drink. You need to understand the size of Queensland to understand the size of the issue here.

JULIE BISHOP I think until you’re here and you actually see the river and see people leaving their homes and evacuating buildings and have power going out, and you actually see it, you don’t understand the magnitude of it.

As I was just saying earlier, normally the benchmark for the river is zero, it is 3.5 metres this morning, its 4.5 metres this afternoon, and it’s going to hit 5.5 metres tonight. That means that a lot of people are going to be evacuated, a lot of buildings are going to be swept away. A restaurant has pulled away from its mooring out into Moreton Bay…

GARY HARDGRAVE It is. It is a real mess and I’ve got to say Julie, we’ve got to go to Paul Tully, but when the vote comes to put a lot of money into Queensland to fix this up we know you will be on our side.

Thanks Julie Bishop for your time.

JULIE BISHOP My pleasure.