Jobs Events Advertise

Evacuations begin for flood-affected north Queensland Indigenous community

Jarred Cross -

Residents of the remote far-north Queensland Aboriginal community Wujal Wujal have landed in Cooktown, 90 kilometres north of their home, after evacuation efforts amid devastating floods.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the first group of airlifted residents have touched down in Cooktown, according to reports.

Defence Force helicopters flew to Wujal Wujal from Townsville to start evacuation efforts.

Initial attempts to begin on Monday were delayed due to poor conditions with plans to relocate the entire community flagged.

Food, water and resources are being taken into Cooktown to accommodate the those arriving with temporary housing being made available.

Cook Shire Council mayor Peter Scott said some will stay with friends and family.

At a press conference in Brisbane earlier on Tuesday, ADF Brigade Commander Brigadier Richard Peace said evacuations would continue into Wednesday.

"In terms of the evacuation of Wujal Wujal, at the moment we're forecasting that we can evacuate up to 120 people today and depending on their desire for further evacuations, we should be able to support into tomorrow again, with the weather being clear," Brigadier Pearce said on Tuesday morning.

Despite water levels easing in Wujal Wujal, the forecast for when residents will be able to return to their homes remains unclear.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said there has been significant damage.

It may take days (before residents can return) depending on the receding of the water and what damage there is to infrastructure and houses," Commissioner Carroll said.

"There has been considerable damage to infrastructure and houses, water, energy and obviously the rapid damage assessments need to get in and do that as well. So, that will happen over the next couple of days.

"They are getting in as well to try and repair that, as well as the housing needs to be repaired. So, we've had an overview of the town today and it is still inundated with a lot of water and I would expect that there would be significant damage in that area.

"And as was alluded to, at least 120 (will be evacuated) today, but we're working through…Some will choose to stay, but I am confident that most will choose to come out."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced one-off crisis payments of $1000 per eligible adult, and $400 per eligible child will be made available to those "who suffered a significant loss as a result of the floods" - including damage to homes and injury in far north Queensland from 2pm Wednesday.

   Related   

Spotlight on hospital care at Indigenous death inquest
Ricky Hampson Jr was a protector, a big brother known as "Dougie" who always looked for ways to bring his family joy. "Dougie w...
Stephanie Gardiner 25 Feb 2024
'Concerning' NT land council referred to integrity body
The federal government is set to investigate allegations of misconduct at the Anindilyakwa Land Council after a damning audit....
Neve Brissenden 24 Feb 2024
Victorian First Peoples Art and Design Fair looks to bring 'whole gamut' on debut in 2025
Inaugural Victorian First Peoples Arts and Design Fair senior project manager Janina Harding has “big plans” for seeing creative...
Jarred Cross 24 Feb 2024
Rolfe recorded 46 use-of-force incidents during stint
A Northern Territory police officer who shot dead an Indigenous teenager recorded 46 use-of-force incidents between 2016 and 201...
Neve Brissenden 23 Feb 2024

   Jarred Cross   

Bevan French stars in World Club Challenge
Bevan French has steered Wigan Warriors to their fifth World Club Challenge win with a man-of-the-match performance over Penrith...
Jarred Cross 25 Feb 2024
National Indigenous Cricket Championships start with bumper day 1
The National Indigenous Cricket Championships in Mparntwe/Alice Springs produced nail biters and strong batting displays on its...
Jarred Cross 23 Feb 2024
Directions hearings continue ahead of inquest into 2021 death in custody of young mum
The latest directions hearings concerning a 30-year-old Yamatji, Noongar, Wongi and Pitjantjatjara woman who died in custody at...
Jarred Cross 23 Feb 2024
Victorian First Peoples Art and Design Fair looks to bring 'whole gamut' on debut in 2025
Inaugural Victorian First Peoples Arts and Design Fair senior project manager Janina Harding has “big plans” for seeing creative...
Jarred Cross 24 Feb 2024