Regional director for Disability and Community Services for Far North Queenlsand and recovery coordinator Des Lee with hub manager Usha Sherwell at Yeppoon's Town Hall where community recovery has been taking place after Cyclone Marcia. Photo Amy Haydock / The Morning Bulletin
Regional director for Disability and Community Services for Far North Queenlsand and recovery coordinator Des Lee with hub manager Usha Sherwell at Yeppoon's Town Hall where community recovery has been taking place after Cyclone Marcia. Photo Amy Haydock / The Morning Bulletin Amy Haydock

Cyclone Marcia recovery hub helpers hailed from far north

WHEN a community is in need after suffering from a natural disaster, Des Lee and his team are some of the first on the ground to respond.

Just two days after Cyclone Marcia unleashed her fury on the Capricorn Coast last month, the recovery co-ordinator from far North Queensland was organising the assembly of a community hub in Yeppoon.

The hub, based at Yeppoon Town Hall, is equipped with several services to help those affected from cyclone Marcia, including Red Cross, insurers, phone companies and government agencies like Centrelink.

The hub is run by the department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Mr Lee said he was very impressed by how well the Capricorn Coast community handled cyclone Marcia.

"It was really encouraging to see, people here have responded really well and learnt how to stand up on their own two feet again very quickly," he said.

"These events really test the fabric of a community and I can hand on my heart say this town has bounced back so well."

Also the regional director for Disability and Community Service in Far North Queensland, Mr Lee said there were several steps to handling an operation like this.

"First we have to deal with people who are in need of urgent immediate assistance like housing, food or clothing," Mr Lee said.

"Then, as time goes by and those immediate needs are met, we have what we call an outreach team who visit people in more rural areas like Byfield, Carwarral and Keppel Sands and see how they're going.

"So we try and switch from having hubs where the public can come to us to going out and finding people who are a little more isolated, once the need for the hub is gone."

Determining their need to stay in a community changes day by day, but Mr Lee said the focus then becomes the plan for long-term recovery.



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