‘It’s not a Lego set’

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Dane Lilling­stone dane.lilling­stone@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

OP­PO­SI­TION Leader Bill Shorten be­lieves the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment is do­ing ev­ery­thing it can to help the peo­ple of the Whit­sun­days in the af­ter­math of Cy­clone Deb­bie.

On a driv­ing tour of the Whit­sun­day re­gion on Mon­day, Mr Shorten vis­ited Proser­pine, Air­lie Beach and was on his way to Bowen.

“This is a tourism mecca but it ob­vi­ously has been hard hit.

“I think the other thing is the re­cov­ery is go­ing quite well.

“I flew over the area on Thurs­day with the Prime Min­is­ter. I vowed to my­self I wanted to see it on the ground.

“So I’m back here on Mon­day,” he said.

Mr Shorten said the press­ing is­sues of elec­tric­ity and wa­ter were be­ing ad­dressed the best they could be.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done and I think peo­ple don’t quite re­alise that,” he said.

“The sec­ond dump of rain af­ter the cy­clone re­ally strained the sys­tems.

“Er­gon seem to be do­ing the best they can.

“Ev­ery­one’s work­ing to­gether but you shouldn’t un­der­es­ti­mate – it will take a while to get back on their feet.”

Con­firm­ing that he “sus­pected” the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment was do­ing ev­ery­thing it could be do­ing, Mr Shorten said it was im­por­tant no­body slipped through the cracks.

“Ask for help, there’s help avail­able. Speak to your friends if you feel you can’t go to some­one in au­thor­ity. Don’t be shy.

“You’ve been through a ma­jor nat­u­ral dis­as­ter. There’s no shame in ask­ing for help,” he said.

“One hun­dred power poles went down, six sub-sta­tions were dam­aged. It’s not a Lego set.

“This is real peo­ple in real com­mu­ni­ties. It takes a while to put back to­gether.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

PHO­TOS: DANE LILLING­STONE

ROAD TRIP: Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten chats to a few Whit­sun­day lo­cals on Mon­day af­ter­noon as a Black Hawk he­li­copter soars above them.

WORK TO BE DONE: Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten and Queens­land La­bor Se­na­tor An­thony Chisholm in­spect the cy­clone dam­age at Air­lie Beach on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

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