Port shows a united front

Thursday 13 January 2011

Port shows a united front

by Mat Churchill

A united front from Port Douglas will go along way toward helping flood stricken Queenslanders in the south of the state, and that's exactly what's happening as a group of locals begin to coordinate their efforts.

Led by Jenni Wright-Robertson, Jade Williams, and Mylo Heidke, a group of around 20 residents met at the Court House Hotel yesterday to workshop ideas as to how the town can extend a helping hand.

Those in attendance paused for a minute's silence as a tribute to those who have lost their lives in the floods, and for those who continue to struggle against the odds.

"I've lived here for nine years and in that time the help from the community has been amazing," said Ms Wright-Robertson.

"To be involved (in relief efforts) is just amazing. When you live in a community it's nice to involve everybody as a team. That's what we do best.

"If I was in their boat I'd hope the community next door would help. It's about working together," she said.

Ideas touted to help in fundraising efforts included auctions, a family fun day, market stall, the collection of household items and non-perishable food, and even the return of the Undie 500, a fun run held in 2010 to raise money for breast cancer research.

The call is out. Residents of Port Douglas and surrounds are urged to throw their time, money, household goods, vehicles, skills, and ideas behind the cause to help make a difference to those in need.

And if your home or accommodation business has a spare room, Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) is coordinating temporary accommodation for flood victims.

The TTNQ website states "TTNQ is joining Tourism Queensland in seeking temporary accommodation for Queenslanders in the central and southern areas of the state, who may not be able to return to their homes for several days or perhaps weeks, due to flooding.

"Temporary accommodation is needed immediately and both Qantas and Virgin Blue will assist with flights for those in greatest need.

"If you are able to lend a hand in this situation please register on our corporate website."

Tradespeople who are in a position to help once the clean up commences are also being asked to register their interest by visiting the Volunteering Queensland website, or by phoning 1800 994 100.

"Anything you can do, if you want to give time it's still worth something," said Ms Wright-Robertson.

If you have boxed items to be collected you can call Grant Chandler on 0402 158 446.

For any information on the Port Douglas flood relief efforts, or to volunteer your time, please call Jenni Wright-Robertson on 0416 946 649 or at PDcommunityfloodappeal@live.com.au.

A Port Douglas Community Flood Appeal facebook page will also been established for offers of help and messages of support.