'Just get on with it,' says Derek

DEREK Schultz is a humble and hard working small crop farmer from the Lockyer Valley and what he has to say needs to be heard beyond his local community.

He was quite comfortable last week proudly standing in his field of healthy cabbages with the Premier at his side and a media scrum in front of him.

“Did you ever think of giving up?” asked the reporter, knowing his Grantham farm, now often seen on television footage, was on January 10 swamped with the inland tsunami that hit the region.

“Oh yeah,” he said with a laugh. “You do. You do. You know you often think about it... probably for two to three weeks after the flooding.”

“And, you know, when you’re cleaning things up like that you think, well why? Why are we doing this, you know, this is, nah, this is bad.

“But, in saying that, we sort of try to put that behind and just get on with it.”

We should all listen to Derek and just get on with it.

Across the state I see inspiring individuals and communities doing everything they can for themselves and for their neighbours. It is easy for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to work with these people. They do what they can to solve local issues and we can help them do more to solve more difficult problems.

I also see some communities that are doing anything but just getting on with rebuilding. Waiting for someone else to do all that needs to be done will not lead to a better and more resilient Queensland.

People who can’t find a way to help themselves are hard to work with and it is difficult to help them. I’m not denying that many Queenslanders have been hit hard this summer, but we must get up and look after ourselves and our neighbours.

The road to recovery will be long and there are no quick fixes. Just lots of hard work and it will take time, but we need to keep moving.

If you look at that same pothole in the road as you drive to work every day, you keep looking at that one pothole and focusing on it saying, “why isn’t it getting fixed?” you’re going to suffer and it’ll shape your attitude towards other things.

We need to broaden our horizons. The rail line from Brisbane to Toowoomba had 260 individual sites needing repairs, including sections that had to be entirely rebuilt, with washouts up to 25 metres deep.

It’s now operating a month ahead of schedule. Those QR workers and contractors just got on with it. Just like our power workers who restored (and continue to do so) power to more than 470,000 homes and businesses.

If you feel the task ahead of you is too much to just get on with it then maybe you just need a little help to see what is possible. If you feel you or a friend needs some help to keep moving forward then don’t hesitate to seek it. No one needs to do it alone.

If you need help, Call 13 HEALTH, talk to your general practitioner, contact your local health facility or community mental health service or call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or visit infoline@beyondblue.org.au

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