A ‘mud army’ of volunteers will gather in southeast Queensland on Tuesday to help clean up homes damaged by floodwaters caused by ex-Cyclone Debbie.
Homes located in Beenleigh and Logan, south of Brisbane, will be the first destination for the volunteers, who have resurfaced after their efforts during the 2011 floods.
It comes as residents in the central Queensland town of Rockhampton prepare for the Fitzroy River to peak at 9m on Wednesday, causing widespread flooding.
The Bureau of Meteorology originally predicted it would rise to 9.4m, which would have caused the region’s worst floods in more than 63 years.
More than 5400 properties and 3000 homes could have been affected.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie, as it made its way across north Queensland and down the east coast, was expected to cost “billions”.
But she moved to reassure affected residents they were not alone.
“We are here, we’re going to be with you every step of the way and we’re going to make sure whatever support is offered we’re going to get to you as quickly as possible,” she said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was committed to replacing damaged infrastructure with more flood-proof buildings during a visit to the Logan suburb of Eagleby.
“These are record flood events so we’re going to have to be better prepared for the next one because clearly this will be repeated,” he said.
“We really now have the challenge of making sure our building standards, our planning standards, take into account that we are the land of droughts and flooding rains and fires as well.”