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Queensland flood probe to include alerts, dams

NSW flood
Contractors can't repair all the flooded homes by Christmas, Master Builders Queensland says. Photo: AAP
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Queensland’s emergency alert system and dam management will be scrutinised as part of a review of the flood disaster that killed 13 people and damaged thousands of homes.

The review to be conducted by Inspector General of Emergency Management Alistair Dawson is also expected to include public submissions, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament on Tuesday.

“I welcome this review, it is how we continually improve so that we can serve and protect the people of this state better,” she said.

Four homes were completely destroyed while more than 1800 buildings suffered severe damage, Ms Palaszczuk said.

A total of 2000 metres of railway track has been repaired so far, and 2000 tonnes of debris has been removed from the Brisbane River.

“These past two weeks I’ve travelled north, south, east and west. I’ve talked to people whose every worldly possession was piled up on the footpath, destroyed,” she said.

Many Queenslanders left homeless by deadly floods last month will “absolutely not” be able to move back into their homes by Christmas, the state’s peak builders body says.

More than 1000 Queenslanders from 461 households have already been placed in emergency accommodation, with many more still trying to find shelter.

There have also been 135,697 insurance claims worth $2.05 billion related to the southeast Queensland disaster, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.

Master Builders Queensland deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell says there were 170,000 building projects in the state last year and flood repairs could add up to another 60,000 jobs.

He says insurers will “move heaven and earth” for their homeless clients but the state’s 73,000 contractors are incapable of repairing all the flooded homes by Christmas.

“Absolutely not, no, look I think it’s going to be a much much longer than a year and I’ve heard a couple of years,” Mr Bidwell told ABC radio on Tuesday

He said repairs and rebuilds hadn’t even started yet because builders needed to wait for months for damaged properties to dry out to reduce health and safety risks.

Meanwhile, the costs of building materials that was already rising due to inflation triggered by the pandemic, natural disasters and now the war in Ukraine will increase the cost of the flood jobs and likely further delay the repairs.

– AAP