Cyclone Debbie

22 May 2017

I'd like to tell the House the story of Jim Ferguson and Claire Browning and Chris Holloway - three SES volunteers based out of Daisy Hill around the corner from my place in Logan City.


In the early hours of Saturday, 1st April at Luscombe they were in a tinny navigating by an app on their phone through the flood waters when they came across a family stranded on the roof of their home. There was a mum, two kids, a grandfather and two dogs on the roof.


The called Triple 0, but nobody was able to reach them.


And so instead, they took it upon themselves, these three SES volunteers and one other person, to pull this family to safety moments - literally moments - before the house itself was swept away.


Without Jim and Claire and Chris, it wouldn't have just been the house that was gone - it would be the family that was gone as well.


And I sat with them, and I sat with the Member for Forde, at a volunteers' breakfast a couple of Saturdays ago, where we got the opportunity to thank these volunteers and indeed all of the volunteers.


And we saw up close their humility.


We saw their efforts to minimise their own contributions and to try to maximise the contribution of others.


Now, that story about the SES volunteers is a really remarkable story, but in another sense, it's not entirely a surprising story.


It's how we roll in our part of the world, Deputy Speaker.


It reflects the professionalism of our first responders, the selflessness of our volunteers and the willingness of local people to look out for each other and to look after each other.


I've said before Deputy Speaker - you've heard me say how proud I am to represent the community that I grew up in, live in and love. 


But I've never been prouder than in our response to the flooding of the Albert and Logan rivers.


What we saw early in April was easily the worst devastation I've seen in our community in my lifetime.

A life was lost - an Eagleby man.


Roads were cut, homes were inundated and some were swept away as I said.


Power was lost, life-long possessions were destroyed and mud and the smell of that mud hung around long after the water subsided.


In response, our community was flooded with kindness.


Our community was flooded with selflessness.


I saw it in the offers of help that came flooding in, even before the rain had stopped.


I saw it early on the Sunday morning of the 2nd of April as I was inspecting some of the damage just over the border into Forde. 


I looked up and from the hills people who had seen my car were coming down the hill to see how they could offer to help.


I saw it in the briefing at the SES headquarters at Daisy Hill, where the firies from all around were in there and they were working out how to coordinate their efforts with the SES.


I saw it in North Maclean with Linus Power and Annastacia Palaszczuk, our premier.


I saw it in the scouts that were cleaning up the house that we visited.


I saw it in Alf, also at North Maclean, who went out of his way to thank the firies who bailed him out at his place.


I saw it on Arthur Road, the place that Linus Power and I hosed out and helped clean up.


Lynda and John's lifetime of possessions, as we tried to make some sense of order as we carried their possessions out of the house and on to the footpath for the council to pick up.


And then, not long after being joined by the Ahmadiyya community and having the Fijian seniors' community - Surendra Prasad and his friends - make a donation to Lynda and John to help them get back on their feet.


I saw it on Bayes Road at Logan Village, with Bunnings and Youth Off The Streets and young kids delivering sandwiches and Easter eggs and all of the volunteers hosing out houses and feeding other volunteers.


I saw it with busloads of volunteers, with their boots and their brooms leaving Logan Metro each morning, including a big contingent from Access Community Services.


I saw it when the Broncos visited Logan Brothers, supporting us just as we support them.

And I wanted to note while the Member for Grayndler is here that the Broncos have not lost since they visited since Logan City more than six weeks ago.

I saw it with Bill Shorten when he visited.

We got a briefing from councillors who had been working around the clock, the emergency response team, the mayor and his leadership.


I saw it at Logan Tree Farm, with the Logan House Fire Support Network, and Ailsa's business there which had gone under.


I saw it at Beenleigh Multisports.


I saw it at the Alan Wilkie Bridge.


I saw it at the town hall meeting that Bill Shorten and I had at Eagleby, listening to people's concerns.


I saw it in the leadership of our state members - Linus Power, as I mentioned; but Cameron Dick and Shannon Fentiman as well.


Shannon's own house went under and she still spent her time helping others.


This motion is a way to say thanks to everyone who pitched in and an opportunity to say again, I'm proud of our community and proud of our response to the floods.