4BC Drive with Scott Emerson - 8 March 2022


SUBJECTSBrisbane Flooding.

SCOTT EMERSON, HOST:  Every week we do catch up with Milton Dick, and you're at the Goodna Floods Recovery Centre this afternoon?

MILTON DICK, MEMBER FOR OXLEY:  I am Scott, Good afternoon to you and the listeners. We've had another busy day with the flood recovery in ground zero down here in Goodna, I'm standing at the Frank McGreevy Centre at the moment, there will be some heavy trucks going by but that is good news when you see the trucks go by full of rubbish, and we've been helping residents today down here obviously still with the cleanup and there's about 20 or so residents who have just called in after cleaning their properties to get help with housing, Centrelink, a whole one stop services for them. So the system's working pretty well.

EMERSON:  I'm glad to see it's working well because I know that the people of Goodna, well they got devastated in 2011. And reporting on the 4BC drives rolling coverage of the floods there, how badly it was impacted. We did speak to you about that as well, in terms of the state of Goodna at the moment, can you give me a snapshot? What's it looking like the moment? A bit better? Or still pretty devastated?

DICK:  Yeah, look, we've spent the last sort of four, four to five days since the waters receded here. There's been about 1600 volunteers that have come through the Recovery Centre here. And a big shout out to the Mayor and Councillor Paul Tully and the Councillor Nicole Jonic and our State Member Lance McCallum. We've all been working extremely close over the last little while. There's about 60% of the rubbish which has gone, but this is a long slog Scott, we've had massive lines at the deposit because we're getting all the rubbish from Lismore up here as well. So is there a two hour turn around. But it's good to see all levels of Government. You would have seen today, me with the Minister for Defence and the Premier, announcing as we just heard in the headlines. We've got a full bipartisan effort here Scott. You know when floods come it's not blue or red. It's just brown, ugly water. And I'm really pleased to have done my bit to help the community get back on its feet here. But it's still a long way to go and the appointment of Major General Ellwood will go a long way to that.

EMERSON:  Yeah, I was talking a little bit earlier about the harmony we saw today between the Federal and State Governments. It was a good sign. As you know, that doesn't necessarily hasn't been the case. Over the last 18 months I did mention there seems to be a bit of argy bargy between the State Government and Brisbane City Council over a few things this morning that have been pointed out but uh, good to see that happening. And we did interview Major General Jake Elwood a little bit earlier on for 4BC drive - a good appointment. He's obviously got the experience from the black summer recovery and clearly, he's just not some bloke that's focusing on well, let's get all the infrastructure back up and running. He understands the human impact of these floods.

DICK:  He sure does, and it is a really welcome appointment. You know, when I got the alert from the Defence Minister Peter Dutton that he deployed the army on Thursday, we were helping a lady move stuff. Might have been the rain or might have been the tears in her eyes, but I could see that everyone was really, really pleased to have the ADF on the ground. We had 60 Last week, another 60 have arrived. They're doing a fantastic job and I give the credit - I said this to the Minister this morning - and I really thanked him on behalf of that local community. I warmly welcomed him today to make sure that the community- I wanted to be here to make sure the community knew that everyone was pulling together. Mayor Teresa Harding, as I said, the local councillors, the Premier was with residents today, helping them, listening firsthand at ground zero, which is Mill Street, thanking all the volunteers and you've got to remember - there are people from across Brisbane that are set up there helping residents move stuff, getting the lunches in, getting the dinners in. It's really heart-warming to see and I'm really pleased that announcement is a go-get-em guy and I know Major General Ellwood will get the job done. It's great news for us here, but the clean-up will continue on for a little while yet.

EMERSON:  I'm talking to Milton Dick, Milton at the press conference today, I did see Annastacia Palaszczuk asked about whether she supported a submarine or nuke sub base here in Queensland. I think she left the answer for Peter Dutton to answer that, but what about Federal Labor? How would you like to see a new sub base here in Brisbane?

DICK:  Look, I mean, I have been following this a little bit, Scott. My mind has been on recovery efforts. I'm not - I haven't been briefed on this totally. And I spoke to the Shadow Minister today, Brennan O'Connor and the Federal Opposition is waiting for a formal briefing on this proposal. I guess I'd be keen to see the detail of this, any investment to invest in our supply chains here for defence capability, of course I'm going to be supporting. I haven't seen a lot of detail about it yet Scott, I'm keen to discuss with the Department of Defence about what it means. In my electorate at Redbank, we've got the Rheinmetall facility, I've been pushing for this hub. And more than ever, we do need more industries moving up here, I've been a huge champion of Rheinmetall to make sure we move forward to see local businesses engaged. And particularly some of our kids to make sure they've got a pathway in some of these Defence Force industries. But for me, I want to see a lot more detail and I do hope this is not just another announcement by the Government and we do see some concrete plans. The other key point I make Scott is, none of the residents impacted around or potentially where the facility could be - it's early days and I want to see a lot more consultation about this before any greenlight’s given.

EMERSON:  Well, at the risk of jeopardizing that harmony you were talking about a little bit earlier, I did see that Federal Labor came out and said this is just an announcement about an announcement. So they're poo-pooing the idea, at least at the moment, but the base has to go somewhere. Labor has backed the nuke subs for Australia under AUKUS, so why not have them at the Port of Brisbane?

DICK:  Yeah, as I said, I'm open to the discussion. But if Government doesn't have a great track record when it comes to delivery, and we are talking about a 10-year horizon, I just want to make sure there is concrete plans on the table. The consultation is done correctly. My focus at the moment has been on local residents, sporting clubs and community clubs getting back on their feet. That's going to remain my priority, particularly the people of Goodna that have done this particularly tough Scott. You know, I can't underscore this enough. We're incredibly blessed to have volunteers and organizations like Thiess Mining that have set up a barbecue here. It's a small thing, but the major impact that that's had, people donating wheelbarrows. Raynuha Sinnathamby from the Springfield City Group just rang me up yesterday and said, what do you need? I said we need five wheelbarrows. And they arrive straightaway. So the community out here, the business community both big and small, whether it be the local bakery calling me at 5am saying how much bread today - it really makes a huge difference. So whilst my priorities of course are on the national issues right now, it's all about getting people back on their feet and make sure that people of Goodna aren't left behind.

EMERSON:  I fully understand that Milton, and it's always good to see all the local members out there - Federal State and Council working together on that. Just finally - it is International Women's Day today. I did see that Labor has promised $77 million to teach school students about respect and relationships. Why do you think that's necessary? Do you think there's some absence of understanding about that amongst school students?

DICK:  Well, I think you've seen the terrible online behaviour of some individuals you're saying, you know, people being trolled and all the terrible abuse that people say we've got to have respectful relationships in the community. We've got to look at how we can teach young kids - both male and female - what is right, what is correct, all of those things. I think anything we can do to get the conversation going, you know, whether it be family domestic violence, which is still a terrible scourge on the community, making sure that we've got respectful, healthy relationships, making sure that all kids no matter where they're at understand right from wrong. I think it can only be a good thing for our society and our community.

EMERSON:  All right Milton, always good to have a chat. We'll catch you again next week.

DICK:  See you then.