North West flooding leaves small businesses hanging onto life raft

Mar 29, 2023

The recent flooding throughout North West Queensland has wreaked havoc, destroying homes, properties and businesses, many of which do not fit within current funding guidelines and boundaries leaving them without any support.

The owners of the Dangi Pub in Urandangi took to Facebook recently to deliver the news that the flooding had completely destroyed their pub, and that it had been condemned by health and safety.

Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said he was frustrated with the governments’ inability to consider the extenuating circumstances that had recently unfolded in the North West and deliver adequate support.

“The closure of the Dangi Pub will likely mean that the town will cease to exist, and is just the tip of the iceberg”, said Mr Katter.

“The Tirranna Roadhouse, Kalkadoon Hotel, the Gregory Pub and many more have all felt the domino effect of this weather.

“All of these businesses have been on wobbly wheels, and in a fragile economic state for years.

“If some assistance isn’t provided, this will be the final blow for more than just the Dangi Pub.

Mr Katter said the owner of the Kalkadoon Hotel in Kajabbi, had come to his office to seek assistance and, although he’d conversed back and forwards with several Queensland Ministers to try and deliver financial aid, the publican had so far received nothing.

The owner of the Kalkadoon hotel said his family, and the other six residents of Kajabbi, had been flooded in since Christmas Eve.

“Thankfully, although coming extremely close, our hotel was not flooded”, he said.

“Despite that however, we have had no through traffic since Christmas.

“We’ve had a day or two here and there where the roads have been ‘passable’ however no one’s venturing out this way on those days at the risk of becoming stranded with us.

“The locals have been very supportive, but in a town with six other people we rely so heavily on traffic.

“The last few months have been financially draining, and we’re at the end of our tether.

“We need to keep our stock cold and the lawn mowed, so the bills keep piling up despite having no income.”

The owner advised that his wife, son, and daughter were currently staying in Mount Isa.

“There’s no point us all being stuck out here”, he said.

“I’m out here by myself with my two dogs to caretake the place – it’s tough mentally.”

Mr Katter advised that the owner of the Kalkadoon Hotel had noted since that start of the monsoon period in November, Kajabbi had received 900 mm of rain, in comparison to their average annual rainfall of 200 mm.

“I’d say that would be considered extenuating circumstances”, said Mr Katter.

“A lot of these specialised, privately-run facilities run off the smell of an oily rag out there.

“They’re not highly profitable but would almost be considered vital in these regions.

“The assistance provided misses the mark on a lot of these areas.”

Mr Katter said he would be speaking further with Minister Leanne Enoch to specifically target some of these areas and ensure they are provided with any type of assistance they need to help stay afloat.