4BC Drive with Scott Emerson - 1 March 2022


SUBJECT: Brisbane Flooding.

To Oxley with a regular on 4BC Drive, the Federal Member for Oxley, Milton Dick. Milton, first up, how is your community doing in the floods? 

MILTON DICK, MEMBER FOR OXLEY: Yeah, it's a bit of deja vu for some of the residents out here. I've got two particular areas that have been really hard hit. The suburbs of Oxley which have really done it tough during this flood, but also out through the Goodna/Ipswich area as well and parts of the Centenary Suburbs where I am at the moment at Westlake, I'm thinking some of our Energex crews that I've stopped to speak to some locals about and have done a great job in getting the power back on. So we're not out of the woods yet and I'm looking at the Brisbane River coming down at me pretty fast at the moment. I'm looking at some debris in there but yeah, I'm really, really thankful for our emergency service workers. Great news about the Centenary Bridge just opening up a couple of minutes ago, which is good for locals but just being out today and doing what I can to help locals.

As I watched the waters go down, we still got some pretty significant heavy coverage at places like Jindalee and also Oxley, which is still cut off. But I'm hopeful that those tides will reduce and will start to clean up as soon as possible.

EMERSON: Well, it's good to see the Centenary Bridge is reopened and that's important. Of course. You mentioned Energex then Milton Dick, the good work they've been doing. I see they have restored power to another 8000 customers since this morning, but we still got 35,000 still without power and that must be hard for a lot of the communities you were just talking about. It really is. And one of the things I've been talking to locals about today in between clean ups and being on the ground is the disaster payments in 2011.

DICK: Scott when I was in the Brisbane City Council, if you did lose power and you lost significant food or supplies there was payment available. Now those Federal Disaster Payments have changed, which you know, it's not a criticism, it's just the nature of the payments have changed. And I think we're going to have to have a broader conversation about that as the power does slowly come on. You know, a lot of residents haven't had it for 48 to 72 hours now and I'm really worried about getting their waste out and making sure that we've got people on the ground to support them, and particularly when they're moved back in. If you've been flooded, the definitions are quite, quite narrow to get that federal disaster payment, the state to free up some funding today. But I think we're going to have to look at this collectively in a bipartisan way to see what support we can give, particularly to those who've been out of power for some time now.

EMERSON: I'm talking to Milton Dick, the Federal Member for Oxley. Milton, when you're talking to your local community, those have been flood affected. Those without power as many people have been saying too, look, we didn't think this was going to happen. We didn't get the warnings in time. Look, obviously, it was bucketing down. But the rain band that people were talking about it, it hung off the coast for a long time. Do you think there was sufficient warnings of people about this event?

DICK: Look Scott, I have been hearing that from a lot of people, but I don't really want to have a political argument today. People are still waiting to get back into their homes. Look, I think we will have that conversation going forward. I have no criticism of our Lord Mayor and Premier at this stage. I think particularly they've been dealing with a very unpredictable weather pattern here. No one could predict what was going to happen. At the moment, my focus is wholly on getting people the money in their pockets, in their bank accounts, as soon as possible. I was with someone from Goodna just before, after lunch today in a rental house, completely lost everything. They literally have the clothes on their back, they've got no money in the bank account. I've been in contact with Linda Reynolds office today to see if we can get some people on the ground to access the funding because what we're finding is people don't have access to power, they don't have the devices or they've been lost. So I'm hopeful that the Federal Government will set up some human services offices because the Goodna Centrelink is closed. Normally, you know, that's where people would go. And I'm hopeful that we will see some people on the ground. I'm going to set up my own with my own staff to make sure that people are accessing the payments. Getting money into people's bank account is the priority to make sure whether it be buying school uniforms, getting food back on the table or even some emergency relief accommodation. So it's going to be a big job, but I guess my heart is breaking for a lot of people who went through this in 2011. It's exactly the same people that have been copping it in the neck again. And yeah, it's been pretty tough for them.

EMERSON: It is. And look, I know those areas well, as you know, because I was, you know, I come from Ipswich and, and obviously I experienced the 2011 floods as a local member as well there. But I just want to raise with you, you mentioned about Ipswich, there are these reports today from the police about looting in Bundamba there and we just brought a story before from the Salvos, the Salvos center at Bundamba has been looted as well. They haven't caught whoever's responsible for that. That's to another bloke who was apparently looting local bait shop there and in someone else's house they've had to abandon the house and someone's jimmied into the house while they've been away and looted that house. I mean you just shake your head because I know that as you're walking around the community they're going through, you would be seeing so many positive stories about people in the community helping out their fellow citizens out there. And then you get these lowlifes. These grubs are just yet sticking it, taking advantage of people at the lowest point even the salvos being looted.

DICK: It's really - you can't comprehend it. It's unbelievable. I was with the commissioner this morning when she was going through these, Katerina Carroll. You know, I felt sick in the guts that these mongrels will take advantage of people in their darkest. Scott, there's so many good people in the Centenary Suburbs of Brisbane. We've got churches. I was just with the CWA ladies at Oxley today looking after everyone, making us a warm cup of tea. And helping people get through what they've got to get through. And up in Goodna and particularly, which is for a lot of people who struggle to think that these dogs would come through and rip people off. And you know, when people are fleeing their homes, they don't necessarily think to put the deadbolt on, they don't necessarily think they're worried about vandalism, or they're just worried about getting their photos or their bank details or their precious items together. And those businesses that have been kicked in the guts in 2011 and you know, they've had a tough ride during the pandemic to think that that would happen. And the Salvos, you know, it just makes me sick to the stomach. But I'm hopeful that I've got - folks have confidence in the police so they'll get these baddies and hopefully throw the book at them or I think they should name shame.

EMERSON: And look I'd put the face up on the front page of the paper, someone who steals from the Salvos in a time of crisis. I'm sorry. I know people say, oh, you shouldn't name and shame people, you're being unfair to them or bugger them. I could tell you - someone's willing to do this at this time. And when the public when the community is at its lowest ebb because of the floods. No, no, sympathy for me at all, Milton. You know that the lowest of the low and we got to go at them with all guns blazing. All right, Milton Dick, thanks for joining us on our 4BC flood coverage.