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Transcript of interview with Steve Price: MTR 1377: Townsville: 4 February 2011: Tropical Cyclone Yasi

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Hon. Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General

Attorney-General Transcript Page 1 of 2





Subject: Tropical Cyclone Yasi.


STEVE PRICE: The Federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland’s about to hop into a Blackhawk Helicopter and inspect the damage from Cyclone Yasi yesterday. He’s been good enough to join us. Attorney-General thanks for your time.

ROBERT McCLELLAND: No, that’s my pleasure.

STEVE PRICE: Speaking to the funeral parlour director in Tully this morning, Chris Heritage, we spoke to him yesterday, just emerged from the wreck of his house. He’s saying the tough things there for residents this morning are power and water. I suppose that’s part of the priority for the local authorities to get those two things reconnected.

ROBERT McCLELLAND: Yeah and it is and these are things you take for granted of course; supplies in the shops and even fuel for your car. So getting those in is a priority.

The problem this morning is flooding in the aftermath of the cyclone, but they’re hopeful by mid-afternoon that will, that will ease. The army’s doing a great job, in terms of cleaning up the roadways, so they’re hoping to be able to get the military personnel in there this afternoon.

There’s already some ration packs and immediate water supplies that have been dropped, but as soon as we can open up the road connections to those areas it’ll be a much more sophisticated type of assistance.

STEVE PRICE: We’re lucky to have those military personnel at Townsville base there, the four thousand. I mean, those guys, if anyone can get in, they can. And I suppose with flood waters like that your hands are tied. It’s pretty difficult to get in and, and reconnect the power to get the energy crews in there if they can’t actually, physically get to places like Cardwell or Tully.

Attorney-General Transcript Page 2 of 2

ROBERT McCLELLAND: Yeah, but the levels involved - we’re talking about flood levels of fifteen metres. But while it comes quickly, it apparently goes quickly. So, later in the day we’re hoping that they will subside.

STEVE PRICE: Part of the, the main highway there has actually fallen into the sea- you’ve only got one lane left of the main highway. The power of that thing, Robert, when it lifted up those motor-yachts and yachts in the marina at Cardwell- just unbelievable!

ROBERT McCLELLAND: Well, it was one of the most significant to hit Australia and even on an international scale. So the fact that emergency service agencies collectively up here were able to…

STEVE PRICE: I’ll let you jump on that chopper. I know you’ve got to go. Thanks for jumping on the phone for us.

ROBERT McCLELLAND: No, it’s my pleasure. Thank you.

STEVE PRICE: Robert McClelland, there, the Attorney-General who has, as part of his responsibilities, he’s in charge of natural disasters around the country. Certainly been a busy man.


Contact: Ryan Liddell - 02 6277 7300 or 0427 225 763.