Tasmanian flood recovery plan in place as damage bill mounts

tasmanian floodsThe Tasmanian Government has established a flood recovery committee to oversee the medium and long-term response to last week’s devastating floods.

In a ministerial statement, Premier Will Hodgman said more than 230 emergency assistance grants worth $76,000 had been provided to families, business and farmers so far.

National disaster relief arrangements have been activated, offering assistance to 18 local government areas as reported by the ABC.

Mr Hodgman said there was likely to be at least one coronial inquiry, and potentially other investigations.

The body of a 75-year-old Latrobe woman was recovered last Monday but the bodies of two men swept away in floodwaters have not been found.

“It’s difficult for any of us to imagine the trauma of these events for those families and rescue workers involved,” Mr Hodgman said.

“But we stand beside those families and with all Tasmanians impacted by these devastating events … we will help you recover and rebuild.”

Over the long weekend, about 1,000 people visited recovery centres in Launceston and Latrobe.

He said the stories emerging from the floods had been both heartbreaking and heart-warming and he praised the support offered to flood-affected people by the community.

“It makes me proud to see the support we give each other in times of need, from a cup of tea to offering to take in washing, to helping injured and displaced wildlife, to cleaning up our beaches and river banks,” the Premier said.

“These terrible floods have again brought to the fore a wonderful spirit of community and cooperation.”

So far 263 properties have been assessed as being impacted by the floods, with 178 confirmed as having structural damage.

In the north and north-west, 35 bridges – including three railway bridges – have been damaged, and at least 48 sections of road are in need of repair.

TasRail has reopened the rail line between Brighton-Boyer and Conara in central Tasmania, while it is mobilising machinery to repair a bridge over the Mersey River at Kimberley. To read more click here.