News

Why locals can't return to Bundy's war zone just yet

FLOOD DAMAGE: The flood water swept one home away whilst its neighbour remains on Thornhill st North Bundaberg. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail
FLOOD DAMAGE: The flood water swept one home away whilst its neighbour remains on Thornhill st North Bundaberg. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail Scottie Simmonds

THINK of a war zone and there's a good chance you're imagining the scenes found at North Bundaberg.

Holes big enough for several buses to fall in litter the roads, power poles lay strewn about, cars appear to have been picked up and thrown around by an angry giant, a home sits on the main road out of town and the streets sink beneath your feet.

I was part of a very small group of journalists allowed access to the horror at North Bundaberg yesterday but it was no simple sight-seeing trip.

Police Inspector Mark Henderson said it was important to allow some media access to the zone to help people understand why they could not yet return home - and trust me when I say there's a very, very good reason.
I was a reporter during the Bundaberg floods two years ago and the damage is indescribably worse.

Walking along Thornhill St near the Hockey grounds to inspect a pile of cars that had been thrown about and tossed together by the water, the road began to crumble beneath me and we were forced to retreat and the precarious state of the infrastructure is the same in every street.

"As you are aware we've taken precautions coming across here today but I do want to get the message through to the public of Bundaberg, this is a big steep feat that you face and particularly those here from the north side," Insp Henderson said.

"The big dangers that we're facing here is the road as you can see has big sink holes in it, power poles with transformers have sunk into the ground.

"The ongoing dangers for people to be walking around here are just not worth the risk to public life. The property can be replaced but lives can't be."

Among the most shocking sights is a house that has been carried by the floodwater on to Queen St near the IGA complex and the twisted metal that was once the train tracks.

The damage to the Tallon Bridge is horrific, the twisted pile of metal and rubble is a devastating sight to see.

Insp Henderson said crews were assessing the safety of each building and as that was done, residents would slowly be allowed back in.

"I think the biggest shock for the Bundaberg people, again particularly those of North Bundaberg, is going to be the fact that unlike previous occasions when the water has subsided and they were simply allowed to walk to their places and try the best to get on with life, there are some inhibiting factors this time round," he said.

"It certainly has been worse as infrastructure goes and it has certainly created some dangerous situations we have to work through prior to allowing people back in."

Insp Henderson stressed that people were working as hard as possible.

"We really are urging people please be patient please bear with us another few days (and) we will start to let people in where we can," he said.

"The water has started to recede and there's little doubt about it and we can see that in front of us but what it's left is a tale of destruction to the roads and the infrastructure.

"It's left this area particularly of North Bundaberg very, very badly damaged and very, very unsafe."

Despite our police escort, we were in no way safe in the disaster zone that is North Bundaberg and while it's frustrating for people who want to get home and start the cleanup, this exclusion zone is set up with one goal in mind - keeping people alive.

Topics:  editors picks exclusion zone flooding north bundaberg oswald



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Local footy player fronts court accused of arson

ACCUSED: Matthew James Tanner, 30, appeared in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court charged with arson and animal cruelty. Photo Contributed

Matthew James Tanner remains in custody

New backpacker tax deal welcomed in the North Burnett

Sherrie Breitkopf and Barbara Dell'Orfano are unimpressed by the backpacker tax delay.

The 15% backpacker tax has passed.

Local Partners

'He can see!' Mum's tears as boy fights Taipan bite

TWO-year-old Eli Campbell continues to amaze his parents and doctors as he bravely takes on his recovery from a near-fatal taipan bite.


What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

List of gigs happening around Bundy

KEY NOTE: Country singer Alex Peden. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail

There's a live show for everyone

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!