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15 February 2011

Emotional Councillor Morrison slams Jo-Ann Miller over "hurtful" flood claims

IPSWICH Councillor David Morrison has launched an emotion-charged response to criticism from State MP Jo-Ann Miller that the council has failed flood victims.

Councillor David Morrison with volunteers from the
Westlife Church, Springfield and Australian Children's Trust.

IPSWICH Councillor David Morrison has launched an emotion-charged response to criticism from State MP Jo-Ann Miller that the council has failed flood victims.

Mrs Miller said there was little planning from the council for the flood aftermath, and residents had to open evacuation centres.

Cr Morrison said the Member for Bundamba's comments were "very hurtful".

"Saturday, January 15, was the first day that many in Ipswich could return to their flooded dwellings and commence cleaning," Cr Morrison said in a statement.

"I personally witnessed hundreds embracing an attitude of selflessness, compassion and enthusiasm which has resulted in a true heroic transformation of whole streets and lives.

"Most did not require a government authority for direction to help; most showed initiative and flexibility and helped where they could.

"The transformation achieved in such a short time is a credit to many, and in particular the many agencies that were controlled and coordinated through the Ipswich City Disaster Management Group.

"This is not a time to blame but a time to learn and continue the recovery of shattered lives and homes."

Ms Miller's attack on the council came after Federal MP Shayne Neumann's sensational condemnation of all three levels of government, including his own.

The Federal Member for Blair told Parliament last week the Ipswich City Council and the State and Federal governments had failed people after the floods and said it was a disgrace that people were left to fend for themselves.

Mr Neumann said civilisation was almost at the point of breaking down in the days following January 12 when the Bremer River peaked at 19.5m.

"We teetered on the brink of lawlessness in some of these communities," he told Parliament.

"There were many failures and I'm thoroughly and utterly furious and angry at the lack of communication, co-ordination and consultation.

"The people in my electorate were let down, and I have to say, at every level of government."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale was outraged and disappointed by the comments.

www.QT.com.au

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