Bill Byrne MP and Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speak a SES volunteer at Rockhampton Airport.
Bill Byrne MP and Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speak a SES volunteer at Rockhampton Airport. Allan Reinikka ROK010417apalaszc

Premier interrupts workers barricading Rocky airport

THEY were battling the heat to lay down a flood barrier around the Rockhampton Airport when their work was interrupted by the Queensland Premier.

A group of about 20 SES volunteers were hard at work this afternoon building the barrier around the airport's control tower when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrived in the Beef Capital.

Ms Palaszczuk was curious about the benefits of the flood barrier and SES volunteer Geoff White explained not only the benefits, but also how the barrier was constructed and how hard it was to dismantle.

Mr White explained the areas that flood first and how high levels would get at the airport during a major flood event.

 

"We built this thing last time," he said to the Premier.

"There's a metal framework like a fold up frame, and then it has aluminium plates on top it... 3mm aluminium plates and then (the) membrane goes up on it and then you hold it in place with the chains."

As he stood on the ground part of the barrier, Mr White explained there was a row of chain underneath "which is the bane of our life".

He said that was because it's held in place by clips "which are impossible to fit, impossible to get back off".

Mr White explained there would be 600 metres of flood barrier around the airport before the flood peaks on Wednesday.

Rockhampton SES coordinator Eddie Cowie told The Morning Bulletin the 50 SES volunteers working across the region today were focussed on critical infrastructure.

"We are heavily in preparation mode," he said.

Mr Cowie said the SES was also making sure rescue equipment was ready to go, including flood boats and medical supplies.

"One of our jobs will take two days and 70 SES volunteers to complete," he said.

"Our priority is critical infrastructure and notifying the people that are going to be impacted. That's happening in a number of different locations.

"Our priority is not sandbagging at the moment."

Mr Cowie said in flood events, evacuations and medical transports were the main calls for help to the SES.

However, he said if there were elderly people in the community that required assistance, they could still call for SES help, but there were no guarantee SES will have time or manpower to help everyone prepare.

"We have got numerous requests for sandbagging and we will not get through it all," he said.



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