Flood fund hits $85m

Bligh's flood fund has topped $85 million as she tours the devastation.
Bligh's flood fund has topped $85 million as she tours the devastation. Chris Ison ROK-Anna-C

THE PREMIER'S Disaster Relief Appeal has reached $85 million following an additional contribution of $20 million from the state and federal governments.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it was only a small part of the contribution from both levels of government but she urged Australians to dig deep.

“Australians in every corner of our country can be proud of what they've raised for the flood victims so far, but let's try and go that extra mile to give a bit more to those devastated by these floods,” Ms Gillard said.

Ms Bligh said every cent from the fund would go to flood victims.

“Initial estimates show that well in excess of 28,000 properties have been affected by the Queensland floods and, as our wet season continues, more may follow,” she said.

A 500,000 sq km area of Queensland has been affected by flooding, with 2.1 million people living in the 51 areas labelled disaster zones.

With the state facing a reconstruction effort of post-war proportions, Ms Bligh said the massive infrastructure damage would take months and in some cases years to fully repair.

“We have homes and lives torn apart, in some cases in the Lockyer Valley, by an event of the most traumatic proportions,” she said.

“What's happening on the streets here, getting these streets cleaned, getting the rubbish out of people's houses is absolutely terrific.

“But we all need to remember, this is day two, of something that might take years before we can say we are back to normal and we can put all of this event behind us.”

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