The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

13 January 2011

Interview with Alison Fletcher

Channel 9, Queensland Floods Coverage

13 January 2011

SUBJECTS: Queensland Floods

FLETCHER:

Mr Swan, you've just arrived here at the evacuation centre.  What are your impressions?

TREASURER:

Well, certainly what we're experiencing here is a very massive dislocation of communities right across the city and of course right across the state, so you can see that here.  Fortunately in parts of the area I represent that have been flood prone, we've not experienced the same flooding that many others have experienced in nearby suburbs. 

Yesterday I was out in my electorate and I just saw the extent to which volunteers have come out to support their fellow Queenslanders.  We had a group of a couple of hundred volunteers over at Zillmere yesterday who were filling sandbags; they did 42,000 sandbags even though there wasn't any flooding directly in that area.  So what we are seeing is an extraordinary community effort from right across the community – people who maybe have not volunteered before are coming out and getting stuck in.  So that gives me great faith in the future of our community because we've got this big recovery effort which is coming down the road and it's going to require all of us to work together.

FLETCHER:

They're really teaching those of us who aren't immediately affected by the floods an invaluable lesson aren't they?

TREASURER:

Yes they certainly are.  They're prepared to give something extra for their fellow citizens who are in trouble.  So it's just great to see that voluntary effort.  I was talking to a couple of the volunteers yesterday filling the sandbags and I said `well, how did you know where to come?'  And one of them said that they picked it up through social media off the internet and of course the mainstream media is doing a fantastic job in getting information out, and certainly that information is being delivered and we're seeing the community response.  That really gives me great faith in the future of the city and of course the future of the country to see that sort of response.

FLETCHER:

They'll certainly need to keep up that strength in the weeks to come and the months to come.  So Mr Swan we thank you for your time.  Is there anything else you'd like to add?

TREASURER:

I just want to say thank you to all of the volunteers that are here and all of the volunteers right across the country that are getting stuck in to help their fellow citizens.

FLETCHER:

Thanks very much.

TREASURER:

Thank you.