Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh arrive at Rockhampton Regional Council head quarters for a flood fill-in on New Years Eve 2010.
Julia Gillard and Anna Bligh arrive at Rockhampton Regional Council head quarters for a flood fill-in on New Years Eve 2010. Erin Godwin Rokflood-E

Call to dig deeper for victims

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Premier Anna Bligh and Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan have called on Australians to dig deeper for the relief effort in Queensland.

"The governments that Anna and I lead have both agreed to kick in another $10 million each into the relief fund, to help encourage Australians to give all they can to Queenslanders who are suffering," said Ms Gillard.

"Australians in every corner of our country can be proud of what they've raised for the flood victims so far, but let's try and go that extra mile to give a bit more to those devastated by these floods.

"This is only a small part of the contribution the Australian and Queensland governments will make to helping Queenslanders get back on their feet - but if it encourages others to dig just that little bit deeper then it's crucial."

"I know Australians will do what Australians always do in difficult times - pull together to help each other out."


Ms Bligh thanked Australians for their extraordinary generosity since the Queensland flood crisis began with donations to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal reaching over $50 million.

"But this disaster has now grown into something absolutely unprecedented in our state and the situation we are facing has more than tripled in size since the appeal began," she said.

"The generosity of Australians has been incredible. I know they have been digging deep, but my message today is, we need you to keep digging.

"We need to kick start again the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal to reflect the new situation we face.

"If you've already donated I'm asking you to think about giving again. And if you've yet to give something please think about making any contribution that you can."

The Prime Minister and Premier said thesstate and sederal governments wanted to help drive the appeal with an extra $10 million donation each.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said, "As a Queenslander I'm proud to be able to say both governments have joined forces to put more in the fund as part of our broader efforts to assist the rebuilding of the state".

Premier Bligh said that every cent from the fund would go to flood victims.

"It will help rebuild homes, replace property, and set Queensland families back on their feet,"  Ms Bligh said.

"Initial estimates show that well in excess of 28,000 properties have been affected by the Queensland floods and, as our wet season continues, more may follow.

"By way of comparison the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund stands at $392 million and the number of properties affected in that terrible disaster was around 3400.

"The comparison in the number of properties affected gives you a sense of the scale of the task that Queensland families are facing and the wide spread devastation that the State has experienced.

"Thousands of Queenslanders are now re-entering their homes and they are being confronted with scenes of absolute destruction. With your help we can support them now."

The state had already set aside $680 million in this year's budget to cope with natural disasters and the entire recovery effort, including the clean up and repair of crucial infrastructure, will take billions of dollars of state and federal government money.

Both governments are encouraging people donating to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal to donate online or in person to free up call centre staff and phone lines for emergency calls.

Donations can be made on the Queensland Government website, www.qld.gov.au/floods, and also in person at any Queensland branch of the Bank of Queensland (BoQ), Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, Suncorp, St George Bank, Bank West, Bank SA, Australian Central Credit Union and the Savings and Loans Credit Union.

People can also make donations at Coles Supermarkets and cheques can be made
out to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.



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