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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 584

Mr TRUSS (Leader of the Nationals) (2:34 PM) —Mr Speaker, on indulgence, I thank the House and would like to join with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in their remarks about the flooding in north Queensland. It is an extraordinary commentary on the climate of our great continent that so much of Australia is enduring incredible heat, that the rivers in the Murray and in the south are dry and that much of our country is drought declared, yet 62 per cent of Queensland is flooded. The Gulf rivers join from one to the other; there is water in abundance but it is not where people want it, when they want it.

The people of those regions respond stoically to these kinds of circumstances. We have seen pictures on our televisions of people in towns like Ingham and thereabouts battling the floodwaters through their homes. I have also seen appalling pictures of the loss of livestock across the Gulf and the hardship that is being endured by many people through those regions. Our hearts are certainly with those people. I commend the Prime Minister on his announcement today of the willingness of the government to provide support wherever they can. He can be assured of the support of the whole of the parliament in those initiatives. The people in these more remote parts of Australia particularly appreciate assistance when it comes. Whilst they will fend for themselves bravely as they always do, it is important to them to also know that they have the support of the people in this parliament, the government and the people of Australia.