Scars of Yasi linger a decade on

Feb 10, 2021

Scars of Yasi linger a decade on

Feb 10, 2021

It is hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Cyclone Yasi ripped across North Queensland, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.   

In the lead up to Yasi crossing the coast, I felt pretty powerless at the time because I was working away over in Western Australia and had family members living in Ingham, including my mother.  

Hearing over the radio and watching on the TV the devastation the cyclone had caused was brought into sharp focus when I was finally able to get a flight back into Townsville a few days later and drive up. 

The devastation was right there in front of me, from Ingham and Cardwell all the way to Mission Beach and Tully. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before.  

I got an opportunity to come up the Hinchinbrook Channel on a boat three days after Yasi and just looking out from the water, all of a sudden Cardwell had a beach. Unfortunately, most of that sand was up through businesses and people’s houses. The destruction along the foreshore was like something out of a movie.  

Right there and then, I knew it was going to take a long time, even before I got into politics, for not only Port Hinchinbrook and Cardwell to rebuild, but the whole region. 

You can walk along the foreshore of Cardwell today and it’s absolutely beautiful now. There’s a walking trail that goes all the way along the beach and there’s a brilliant Park Run there every Saturday morning. But if you look a little bit south towards the Port Hinchinbrook development, nothing’s really moved forward in 10 years.  There’s been problems with insurance cases and failed developers. It’s sitting between rack and ruin which is devastating. 

People up and down the coast would probably assume Cardwell is fully recovered but we are not there yet. In the last three years working with the community, we’ve got to a point where the State realises we exist and have put money towards fixing up some of these problems like all-tidal access for One Mile Creek and Port Hinchinbrook’s Sewage Treatment Plant.  

The fight continues to fix these long-standing issues so Cardwell can finally be returned to its former glory.