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Mud Army helps out flood-ravaged regional communities

Tuesday January 11, 2022 - 02:12 AEDT
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Volunteers begin cleaning up the Tansey Bowls Club, which had more than a metre of water through it. - ABC

David Rakowski has never been to Tansey before, a small Queensland town north-west of Gympie, with a population of just 144 people. 

But today the Brisbane resident is helping clean up the local bowls club.

The Ascot resident said he decided to jump in his electric car and head out to the region after seeing the devastation recent flooding had caused.

"I'm on holidays until the 17th and I'm just a city fella," Mr Rakowski said.

"But I just thought it'd be a good idea to jump in the car and give them a bit of a hand.

"I'd be probably watching the Poms lose again to the Australians. But I reckon there are better things I could be doing, to be honest."

He said he could not believe the amount of damage the area had sustained.

"There is just debris everywhere," he said.

"It's alarming what I've walked into this morning. I can only imagine how the volunteers would have been working yesterday.

"The whole place is destroyed, their lawn is just destroyed.

"Hopefully I can just make a little difference." 

A nice pub meal and a couple of hours' labour

Mr Rakowski is no stranger to flood clean-ups. He was part of the Mud Army that helped flood-ravaged suburbs in Brisbane in 2011.

More than 25,000 volunteers turned out to help.

"That was just a terrible thing for Brisbane but look how many helpers we got," he said.

"And what's the difference between the people out here and the people in the city? It just doesn't seem right to me." 

Mr Rakowski said city residents should band together again to help get regional communities back on their feet.

"We should be getting buses and people from Brisbane who've got nothing to do and come out here for a couple of days," he said.

"Have a nice pub meal and meet a few locals and do a couple hours' labour.

"It's actually a bit of fun."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited flood-affected parts of Maryborough today and said she had seen the Mud Army in full swing.

Community spirit will see town thrive again

Ken McIntosh's family has lived in the Tansey area for 100 years.

He celebrated his 21st birthday at the bowls club and is one of dozens of locals rolling up their sleeves to help clean it up.

"We just been cleaning up the debris and stuff on our own places and just come out here today to lend a bit of a hand," he said.

"See if I can untangle a bit of this mess out here at the Tansey Bowls Club and hall."

Mr McIntosh said his own property had received up to $100,000 worth of damage in the flood.

"We've got missing fences, missing stock, destroyed equipment. But we're pretty lucky," he said. 

"One of our solar pumps went under and it's fried and we're trying to find out where one of our cows has gone this morning."

He said it was great to see city residents like Mr Rakowski chipping in.

"Amazing spirit, I was amazed that he even got through the roads," he said.

"I'm sure it'll be great, people band together during natural disasters."



© ABC 2022

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