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11 February 2011

Pisasale blasts Miller over Goodna flood help

IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has said he was offended by an MP's claim the city council abandoned its constituents at the height of last month's flooding.

Residents heading home through floodwaters on Mill Street, Goodna.

IPSWICH Mayor Paul Pisasale has said he was offended by an MP's claim the city council abandoned its constituents at the height of last month's flooding.

Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller said residents of Goodna, Riverview and Redbank were left to support themselves during the disaster.

She claims without the great community spirit in those suburbs a "diabolical situation could have unfolded".

Ms Miller's attack on the council comes after Federal MP Shayne Neumann this week derided all levels of government for their management of the city in the wake of the Bremer River peaking at 19.5 metres on January 12.

Ms Miller claimed there had been little to no planning from the council on how to deal with the immediate flood aftermath.

She said residents had to open their own evacuation centres.

"Places like Shiloh Church, St Augustine's school and the Riverview Neighbourhood House were all opened by community members, not the council," she said.

"Will these people be repaid for the all the supplies they bought? Why had council not planned where the evacuation centres would be and who would staff and supply them?

"Where is the disaster management plan for Ipswich?"

Cr Pisasale said he found Ms Miller's comments offensive.

"Nearly all politicians in the country have rung me and asked if there was anything they could do, but Jo-Ann Miller has not," he said.

"What has Jo-Ann Miller done for those communities? Not nearly as much as the council workers.

"Her views are offensive to the hard work council staff have put in throughout her electorate."

Cr Pisasale said the Red Cross co-ordinated the running of evacuation centres, not Ipswich City Council.

Redbank flood volunteer Mitch Dodrill, who has worked 10 hours-plus each day for three weeks helping the thousands of people in the eastern Ipswich suburbs rebuild their lives, said the council had been very supportive.

"The council has been good to us here in Redbank," he said.

"When I have needed skips or labourers, whatever, they have helped straight away."

Mr Dodrill is currently organising the donation centre at the Redbank Arts Centre.

"It could have been better organised, definitely, and we need a disaster management plan for Ipswich," he said.

The Queensland Times would like to clarify that Jo-Ann Miller's comments in yesterday's newspaper on page 14 were regarding the St Ives Shopping Centre specifically, not greater Goodna.

www.QT.com.au

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