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Rebuilding of Wujal Wujal store commences

Dechlan Brennan -

The rebuilding of the Wujal Wujal community in the Cape York region has begun, after the area was inundated with floodwaters brought on by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper last year.

The Wujal Wujal store, an essential service to the remote community and which contributes to food security, was extensively damaged during the disaster.

Wujal Wujal was one of the worst hit communities, and this resulted in the evacuation of residents following the natural disaster in December.

The Queensland Government has announced rebuilding of key infrastructure is underway, and are supporting the return of residents, alongside the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council.

Bradley Creek, the Mayor of the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, said it had been a "very rough time" for the people of Wujal Wujal, but noted he was grateful the Queensland Government had been working with "Elders, Council and Community Elders" to clean up the community.

"The road to recovery is 4 to 5 weeks away," Mr Creek said.

"All government agencies are working together so all essential services are up and running before the community returns home to Wujal Wujal.

"Rebuilding the store will return a sense of normality for the community which has been through so much."

Quandamooka woman and Minister for Communities, Leeanne Enoch, said the destruction of the Wujal Wujal store was a result of floodwaters reaching 40cm up the walls, as well and inundating homes and other buildings.

"This is a huge loss to the remote community as the store provides essential access to food and other day-to-day convenience items," Minister Enoch said.

"A lot of residents in Wujal Wujal rely heavily on the store's easy access from within the community on a daily basis.

"I'm pleased to report that work to repair the store has already begun and we're looking at interim options to provide access to food and other essential items until repairs are completed, and the store has reopened."

During the disaster, members of Wujal Wujal community were severely impacted, with nine individuals, including a seven-year-old child and health workers, reportedly stranded on a hospital roof during the crisis.

Financial assistance is available for Far North Queenslanders impacted by Tropical Cyclone Jasper online or via the 24-hour community hotline 1800 173 349.

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