Evacuees urged to stay calm

TENSIONS are reaching boiling point in the Moura mine camp where more than 300 Theodore residents have been living since evacuations from the Central Queensland town began on Tuesday.

Banana Shire deputy mayor and head of the local disaster committee Maureen Clancy said the council, SES and mine staff were working to keep the residents calm as itchy feet and frustrations over the safety of property began to affect some evacuees yesterday.

But Cr Clancy said it could be more than a week before residents would be able to return to their homes, with only a few residents remaining in Theodore along with a small contingent of police to maintain order.

“Theodore is still in a disaster situation, the Dawson River there, and at Baralaba and Moura, is still yet to peak,” she said.

“We are still waiting for all that water to come down from Taroom, and that will take a few days at least, and we are doing all we can do for every community affected.

“The accommodation (at Moura mine camp) is actually quite good, not like what they would be dealing with in Emerald at the moment.

“The evacuees in Moura need to keep calm and sit tight until we can ensure they can get home all right – and that could be some time after floodwaters recede.

“We have lost huge stretches of highway all over the shire and that is going to take time to fix.”

Cr Clancy said a number of state government officials, including Deputy Premier Paul Lucas, had visited Moura, and they had been informed of infrastructure problems with which the shire area was dealing.

However, after floods in 2008 and February this year had highlighted problems with bridges all over Central Queensland, Cr Clancy was concerned there would not be enough money in the bank to complete the repairs needed.

“This is a real state disaster; the problem with repairs is that almost every single area of Queensland has been seriously affected, and while I hope for the best for the Banana area, we have a volume problem where the more populated areas are more likely to get the money and resources first,” she said.

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