Resorts to rescue
RESORTS, hotels and accommodation houses have jumped on board an initiative to offer temporary accommodation to Queenslanders displaced from their homes in the flood crisis.
With many residents unable to return to their homes or communities in the immediate future, Tourism Tropical North Queensland has launched an emergency accommodation register to assist those in greatest need.
TTNQ chief executive Rob Giaison said the initiative had “gone viral” with more than 100 businesses involved and even private householders jumping online to register spare rooms.
“The response already has been phenomenal,” Mr Giaison said. “It makes you feel very good to be a part of this community and industry when you look at our proud record of helping others in need, from the tsunami to the Victorian bushfires to this unprecedented flooding disaster unfolding in our own state.”
Qantas and Virgin Blue will fly people to Tropical North Queensland where hundreds of accommodation houses are willing to open their doors, free of charge, to flood victims.
A quick ring around of local businesses by the Gazette yesterday revealed at least 20 holiday properties in the Douglas region already were on board, while Exemplar Coaches & Limousines had offered airport transfers.
Daintree Eco Lodge owners Terry and Cathy Maloney signed up immediately on hearing of it and were confident other operators in the tiny Daintree community would do the same.
“It’s a great idea, we’re all for it,” Mr Maloney said.
“We can’t leave our businesses to go there to help the relief effort so the best we can do is to bring them here.”
“We know without asking the Daintree community will come on board because they always do.
“Hopefully, in helping out, it’s just another way of educating people in the rest of Australia of why this is such a wonderful place to visit at this time of year.”
Mercure Treetops Resort assistant general manager David Penney also pledged support for flood victims.
“Our thoughts go out to all who have been impacted by these recent events. We hope we can assist a couple of families to take time away from the hardship and stress that they are facing,” he said.
Brett Cameron, of The Outrigger Resort, was another business owner only too willing to help victims as well as get the message out Tropical North Queensland was unaffected.
“People ring me to ask about the weather and I tell them it’s bloody beautiful,” Mr Cameron said.
“It is the quiet season at the moment so while we have empty rooms, we may as well do what we can to help.”
Any other accommodation provider who is able to help out can register at www.ttnq.org.au