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

27 January 2013

Doorstop Interview

State Emergency Centre
Kedron Park Complex

SUBJECTS: Emergency Briefing, Federal Assistance for Queensland Communities


I've just come out here for a full briefing - I've been talking to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister's been talking to the Premier. I've had discussions this morning with the Defence Minister to make sure that we put in place the most comprehensive response that we possibly can. The full resources of the Defence Forces are on standby as this crisis unfolds. Helicopter support has gone to Baffle Creek today - there are two helicopters going from Townsville to Bundaberg as we speak. That sort of assistance is terribly important because what we've seen in the last 24 hours is the speed with which conditions can change. That's why coordination between all levels of government; Federal Government, State Government, Local Government, community organisations are so important. We see the best of it when we come together here in this centre.


What are the aircraft and what will they be doing?


Evacuation. I spoke this morning with the Mayor of Bundaberg as you know and as the Premier has indicated the flood outlook there is probably historic, probably the worst ever, let's hope it doesn't come to that. Evacuation therefore in those circumstances is very important. As I understand at Baffle Creek, anyone who has been there would understand that it can rise very quickly and once again I think that rescue is the main purpose in terms of Baffle Creek. These conditions do change very, very quickly.




It is a concern that we are having extreme weather events and the frequency of those extreme weather events is reinforced all around us right now. I think what everybody can say is that there is a comprehensive whole of government response that we have learnt from events from recent years as well. I think people can be confident that everything that should be done is being done. The Commonwealth Government has declared the disaster relief arrangements as they are required to a number of local authorities around the state. But as we go on and assess what has occurred, a further response is put in place under various governance rules that follow a process set out between the Commonwealth, state government and local governments.