More than one week after desperate pleas for help from Degarra residents made national headlines, temporary housing has finally arrived.
Caravans were delivered to grateful locals today after the Department of Housing came under fire for leaving the vehicles sitting unused in Bloomfield – three hours walk from where flood victims are trying to salvage what they can from destroyed homes.
Douglas Shire Mayor, Michael Kerr welcomed Queensland Premier, Steven Miles and Minister for Disaster recovery, Nikki Boyd in Degarra this afternoon and said more help can’t come soon enough for exhausted residents.
“It’s tough going for locals in Degarra and communities across Cape Tribulation 50 days after Cyclone Jasper and flooding decimated parts of our beautiful Shire,” Mayor Kerr said.
“There’s still so much work to be done to help get these towns get back on their feet.”
Good news for Degarra came as parts of Douglas Shire remain in the grip of a water supply crisis.
Torrential rainfall during the past week has washed an extraordinary amount of silt and debris into the Shire’s river systems feeding local treatment plants.
Last Friday, supply was turned off to communities which rely on the Whyanbeel treatment plant due to high turbidity affecting the filtering system.
Then on Sunday night, water crews were forced to cut supply to Port Douglas after reservoir levels dropped dramatically.
“This decision wasn’t made lightly and we understand residents and tourists are frustrated as we look at both short and long term solutions for our struggling network,” Mayor Kerr said.
Today water was slowly fed back through the pipeline to Port Douglas as supply was restored to residents in Wonga Beach, Rocky Point, Miallo, Bamboo and Whyanbeel.
“Crews are working as quickly as possible to restore supply as they fix broken pipes and reduce turbidity levels. They’re doing a remarkable job, and again I thank them.”
In the meantime, bottled water and non-potable water is still available for pick up at collection points.
“Cyclone Jasper and the extraordinary rains we’re copping have again exposed how vulnerable our water system is. We hope both State and Federal Governments consider financial support to guarantee long-term improvements to our water network,” Mayor Kerr said.