Queensland Floods: Latest Briefings

This is the audio of today’s briefings on the Queensland floods.

  • 16.45pm AEDT – Anna Bligh briefing.
  • 16.15pm AEDT – Tony Abbott on foresight.
  • 2.40pm AEDT – Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts and Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson briefing.
  • 2.20pm AEDT – Tony Abbott speaks to ABC News24.
  • 1.30pm AEDT – Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman speaks about flood conditions and arrangements.
  • 1.10pm AEDT – Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks to the media in Brisbane.
  • 12.30pm AEDT – Premier Anna Bligh announces that a 24-year-old man has died after being sucked into a stormwater drain in Brisbane.
  • 11.50am AEDT – Opposition Leader Tony Abbott speaks to Channel 9.

Brisbane Flood Peaks; 13th Victim Found

11.20am AEDT – Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has held a press conference to provide an update on the Brisbane floodwaters which peaked overnight at around 4.5/4.6 metres, lower than expected.

Anna Bligh press conference in Brisbane

 

  • Listen to Premier Anna Bligh’s Press Conference.

Bligh said Queensland is reeling this morning from possibly the worst disaster in our history. The reconstruction program will be of post-war proportions.

Whilst flood levels are slowly falling elsewhere, Bligh said concerns remained about Goondiwindi and Condamine where it is still rising.

A 13th victim was found this morning in a field near Grantham. 70 people are still missing. A major search and rescue mission is now underway in the Lockyer Valley. Police did not confirm media questions about a “mass grave” under a collapsed bridge in Grantham. Some reports suggest up to 30 victims are trapped there.

There are major supply issues in places like Rockhampton where water is not falling as fast as anticipated.

In the south-east 118,000 residences are without electricity. The traffic management system is struggling because traffic cameras are out. Bligh urged people not to use the roads unless absolutely necessary.

Bligh said thousands of people have woken to the “unbearable agony” of homes and businesses washed away. Bligh’s voice broke as she talked:

  • Listen to Anna Bligh

“As we weep for what we have lost and as we grieve for family and friends and we confront the challenge that is before us, I want us to remember who we are. We are Queenslanders. We’re the people that they breed tough north of the border. We’re the ones that they knock down and we get up again. I said earlier this week that this weather may break our hearts – and it is doing that – but it will not break our will. And in the coming weeks and the coming months we are going to prove that beyond any doubt. Together we can pull through this and that’s what I’m determined to do and with your help we can achieve it.”

Bligh spoke of the floating walkway as the modern face of a thriving, sophisticated city, “and we watched it float away.” The 300 tonnes of concrete broke loose last night but was steered out of the river system by a tug.

As the focus of the flood centres on Brisbane, Bligh was at pains to resassure regional Queenslanders that “you will not be forgotten.”

Bligh said 70 towns and cities across Queensland have been affected by the flood, either inundated to some extent or cut off. Rockhampton is still cut off by air.

Bligh said there will be further difficult news to come. Towns may have to build something different from what has been destroyed.