ON SITE: Rural Fire and Rescue Service Queensland area training and support officer Andrew Allan at the Yeppoon Showgrounds where many emergency services workers and volunteers stayed during the Cyclone Marcia clean up.
ON SITE: Rural Fire and Rescue Service Queensland area training and support officer Andrew Allan at the Yeppoon Showgrounds where many emergency services workers and volunteers stayed during the Cyclone Marcia clean up. Amy Haydock

Yeppoon Showgrounds open despite Cyclone Marcia damage costs

DESPITE suffering extensive damage to their buildings and fences, Yeppoon Show Society members still made their grounds and facilities available for volunteers to use during the clean up from Cyclone Marcia.

Australian Aid set up their portable tent city at the grounds over the past two weeks for large numbers of volunteers who were working round the clock to help the community.

President Ken Landsberg said this week that the cost of damage from the cyclone to the society would be in the vicinity of $50,000.

And, with an excess of that amount on the insurance policy, it appears the society will have to foot the bill for all repairs.

"Unfortunately this will take the funds we had set aside to run our annual show in June," Mr Landsberg said.

"However, we will be looking at all options and perhaps a grant may become available to assist volunteer organisations such as ours."

Mr Landsberg said when approached by council to make the showgrounds available as a volunteer assistance centre, members never hesitated, and it brought home just how crucial the grounds are to our community in times of emergency.

Energex also was able to operate the recovery unit from there in the early stages of the cyclone.

Show Society secretary Desley Rial said the society was 100% behind the "Buy em a Beer" fundraiser and again the grounds and facilities were proving ideal for staging this volunteer-based function.

"This event will give our community a chance to show their appreciation to those volunteers groups such as SES, QFES, Rural Fire Brigades, Red Cross to name a few who stood up selflessly and gave their all to help anyone they could to get their lives back on track following this massive disaster, " Ms Rial said.

"Let's not forget our local council either. Under the leadership of Mayor Ludwig, the staff and all workers have played a magnificent part in endeavouring to get the community back to some sort of normality.

"It must have been heartbreaking for them to see the damage and destruction throughout the shire, but they are giving the clean up a 100% effort and are working tirelessly to get basic facilities working again."



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