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Locals in the town of Degarra are pleading for help fearing they’ve been forgotten after nearly two metres of rain swamped the community and destroyed their homes in the wake of Cyclone Jasper more than one month ago.

Degarra resident, Courtney Rollins said they can’t take much more as they are forced to shelter under tarps and in tents as more monsoon rainfall drenches Far North Queensland. “We need help! They keep promising to help us and we haven’t seen any of it yet. We need help now,” Courtney said.

Billy and Michelle Dunn, who’ve lived in the area for more than three decades, fear for the life of a neighbour who was washed away and hasn’t been seen since December 17. “We have nothing. No one is coming to help us,” Michelle pleaded through tears.

“Paradise found is now paradise lost,” Billy said. “We need a lot of help. The road access Is buggered and everything is a total mess. The destruction is next level.”

Residents are crying out for temporary accommodation, “boots on the ground” support and more resources to clean up their destroyed and muddy homes.

Degarra residents Billy and Michelle Dunn

Douglas Shire Mayor, Michael Kerr described the situation as “ludicrous.” “The residents of Degarra are at breaking point,” Mayor Kerr warned. “We need to get what was promised for the locals. It’s a ludicrous situation that we can provide assistance for countries overseas within hours, but our residents have been waiting over a month since the disaster, and seven days since approval was given for assistance and they’re yet to see any.

Queensland’s Department of Housing has sent caravans to the region but refuses to set them up on private properties where residents need them because of “insurance” reasons.

“It’s clearly bureaucracy gone crazy. There are caravans sitting 3 hours walk away. Locals don’t have cars. They need accommodation close to their properties, they need somewhere safe to sleep, and they need it now!” Mayor Kerr said.

“We’ve had everyone here. The Premier has walked the streets. The Prime Minister has flown over the area. Everyone is calling this a major disaster yet there’s no urgency getting help for these people,” Mayor Kerr said.

“We are thankful to the SES and those who have tried to support us, and we hope more help is on the
way,” Billy said.

Flood damage at Degarra

Temporary accommodation sitting unused a three-hour walk from Degarra

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