Media Releases

Lessons From Latrobe Flood Require More Support

June 11, 2018

Federal Labor Candidate for Braddon, Justine Keay, today joined State Labor Members for Braddon, Anita Dow and Shane Broad, to highlight the need for Federal and State Government support to help communities like Latrobe recover faster from future floods.

Federal Labor Candidate for Braddon Justine Keay said: “While support for the Latrobe community and more broadly the North West Coast was welcomed following the floods, some two years later, there has been a deafening silence from Canberra on avoiding a slow recovery again in the future.”

“Malcolm Turnbull promised funding for flood mitigation in Latrobe during the 2016 election, and we’re yet to see work start,” Ms Keay said.

“We need to ensure that communities and councils like Latrobe are supported to ensure lessons are learned, and flood mitigation and response practices are improved,” Ms Keay said.

“The Liberals only care about protecting our communities from damaging floods when it suits them most, and they’ve abandoned the Braddon community,” Ms Keay said.

Premier Will Hodgman also needs to explain why the important flood mitigation measures, recommended by a report over a year ago have not been implemented, and what representations his government has made to the Federal Government for improved assistance.

Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Shane Broad said: “The State Government is missing in action. Despite the Deputy Premier being a farmer from just down the road, there is no evidence any of the 24 recommendations from the Government Flood Review have been acted on. The report was delivered to this Government a year ago.”

“In fact, the Emergency Management Minister Michael Ferguson recently admitted that important initiatives like flood mapping have not been started, won’t be undertaken until the end of this year and will then take up to three years to complete,” Dr Broad said.

“The people of Latrobe and Tasmania don’t have three years. The Premier should explain to Hobart businesses and households which sustained serious damage in the recent floods, why the recommendations from last year have been ignored,” Dr Broad said.

“There are serious questions to answer here about whether this clear failure to act contributed to the damage and the associated costs we have witnessed over the past month,” Dr Broad said.

Labor stands ready to work with the Tasmanian Government to implement the important, and potentially life saving recommendations outlined in the report.

Shadow Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Anita Dow said: “It is clear the Federal Government has an important role to play in supporting the Tasmanian Government in protecting communities and businesses against future flood devastation.”

“We call on Minister Ferguson, as well as the Deputy Premier and Premier, to bring forward flood mitigation and mapping work, and finally begin to advocate on behalf of the North West Coast and Tasmania with their federal counterparts. Tasmanians want to learn from our natural disasters and plan for the future,” Ms Dow said.