Moreton Bay Regional Council’s construction team has pulled off nothing short of a miracle, rebuilding the White Patch crossing within just 96 hours of it being obliterated by floodwaters.
As cars and pedestrians flowed across the new structure, Mayor Peter Flannery is hailing the efforts of the Council’s crew, partner agencies, and the local community, as awe-inspiring.
“The whole resupply and recovery mission which has unfolded since the crossing was blown apart on Sunday afternoon, is a shining example of what can be achieved when people stand together,” Mayor Flannery says.
“Residents got a warning text on Monday morning to say the water had been cut, and within three hours, Volunteer Marine Rescue Bribie Island, the SES and Unitywater had delivered 500L of fresh drinking water and vital supplies, with key assistance also given by SES and National Parks.
“VMR also helped Deputy Mayor Jodie Shipway, Pumicestone MP Ali King and myself get out there to check in on the community, and I was so impressed with how calm the locals were, and the way they were rallying to help however they could.
“By that night, an inland emergency track had been completed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, allowing crews to bring in vital supplies and heavy machinery for the rebuilding effort.
“Within 72 hours, Unitywater had connected the temporary water supply, while Alex from their community engagement team brought a stack of Harold the Hungry Toilet books for the kids, and handed out water bottles, and answered questions about the water supply and next steps for a permanent solution.
“Gary, Liz, Graham and all the VMR crew were outstanding, transporting vital medicines, essential groceries fast-tracked for us by Woolworths Bongaree, plus locals including people who needed to get to urgent medical appointments, and a carer for an elderly resident; the list goes on, and their generosity was unparalleled.
“Our call centre team reached out to every single resident via phone, email and SMS to assess and help meet their needs, and Veronica from the Local Disaster Coordination Centre was able to drop in and visit residents to answer Council-related questions.”
Take care using crossing
Mayor Flannery is urging people using the crossing to take care as it is only one lane wide.
Council will have traffic control on site in the interim to manage traffic flows, while other works such as installing guideposts and reflective pavement markers is done.
“The clean-up is continuing across the region, and there’s a long road ahead, but actions like these during times of crisis give us hope and motivation to push on. Thank you to every one of you,” Mayor Flannery says.
Councillor Brooke Savige (Div 1) says she is immensely proud of the community.
“What White Patch lacks in size, it makes up for in heart - and in these last, tough few days, the residents have proven that in spades,” Cr Savige says.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to our community champion Sarah Gould, who opened up her front lawn as a central meeting point, worked with Council staff to keep people informed, and even hosted a street party to lift everyone’s spirits.
“In times like these, it’s small actions which matter most, and everyone has done an incredible job of working together to help themselves, as well as Council and our partner agencies.”
An NBN spokesperson says: "NBN is continuing to work with contractors to ensure a coordinated approach to ensure service restoration is done as quickly-as-possible and properly. We will update the community as soon as we have more detail on timings".