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Flood inquitry to sit in Emerald

FLOOD FOURSOME: Neil Roberts, Vaughan Johnson, Premier Anna Bligh and Peter Maguire in Emerald. cont
FLOOD FOURSOME: Neil Roberts, Vaughan Johnson, Premier Anna Bligh and Peter Maguire in Emerald. cont

MEMBERS of the $15 million commission of inquiry into the Queensland floods will travel to Emerald and Alpha to hear the stories of flood victims, Premier Anna Bligh has announced.

Ms Bligh said she owed it to the 20 people to date who have died in the flooding, which has devastated two-thirds of the state, with important lessons to learn from what went wrong in the natural disaster.

The royal commission-style inquiry will be headed by Justice Cate Jones.

“I would expect them (inquiry members) to go everywhere that had a significant and major inundation, or at least for example, they might go to Alpha and the people from Jericho would come to the commission in Alpha,” Ms Bligh said.

“Some commonsense will prevail, but to be out there and give people an opportunity to give evidence in their home town or their home region.

“There’s no doubt we have faced a terrible time here in Queensland.

“I look forward to the commissioners that have been appointed to this task undertaking the task with a great degree of diligence.

“I also expect they are the kind of people who will create a supportive environment to those giving evidence, so people who have been traumatised by these events can share their stories and give their information in an environment that understands they have been through a very difficult and in some cases - extremely traumatic - experience.”

Premier Bligh said the public would also be allowed to give evidence on dealings with the insurance industry.

The commission will also invite submissions from the public on any of the matters in its terms of reference.

An interim report will be tabled in August, with the final report required by January 17, 2012.


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