Record Flood Levels Smash NW Communities

Feb 2, 2024

Road trains marooned on the side of the road and hugging every inch of asphalt on the parking bays around McKinlay in North West Queensland illustrate the toll of major flooding events through the region over the last few days as communities along some of Queensland main freight routes are cut off from the rest of the state.

The flooding associated with the rain bomb dropped by ex-cyclone Kirrily extends from south of McKinlay to the gulf of Carpentaria, with some communities having already been isolated for weeks because of earlier flood events.

Surveying the inundated area from the air and the ground near Kyunna and McKinlay, the Traeger MP and Katter’s Australian Party Leader, Robbie Katter, said the floodwaters were causing significant and lasting damage to buildings and infrastructure in the region.

“The towns people and cattle producers have been smashed by some record flood levels in some areas.

“We’ve carted federal and state ministers out here today and we’re hoping to get these roads up and running to ensure that people are getting looked after.

“There’s going to be a big repair bill for the cattle stations.

“The pub in Kynuna, the Blue Healer, was wiped out, and the vast majority of fencing and stock water in this district have been wiped out.

“It will be a fair while getting back on track, and the road will open up shortly, but we need to make sure we improve on all this in the future.

“Upgrades to bridges and crossings are what’s really needed right now to make them resilient to the affects of major floods,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter said calls by local mayors for major infrastructure upgrades to mitigate the impact of flooding have not yielded the desired results so far.

Mr Katter said the Mayors of Doomadgee, Burke Shire and Carpentaria Shire further north have all submitted proposals to the State government for funding to raise bridges into the towns of Normanton, Burketown and Doomadgee.

“Doomadgee has been cut off for weeks from entirely predictable rainful, but raising the bridge by 1.5 metres would allow the movement of goods and people in and out of town even while the river peaks.

“These calls have been not been addressed and government must do better to help the communities out here become more resilient in the wake of these weather events,” Mr Katter said.