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Flood inquiry announced as death toll rises

Updated January 18, 2011 07:14:00

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced a commission of inquiry into the state's devastating floods, as she confirmed the death toll in the disaster has risen to 20.

A Supreme Court judge, a former police commissioner and a dam expert will conduct a year-long inquiry into the floods.

The announcement comes as the Premier confirmed a man found in a vehicle in Ipswich last week died of flood-related causes, and another body had been found in Grantham in the Lockyer Valley.

There are more than 10 people still missing.

Ms Bligh says the inquiry will report on how prepared the state was for the floods and how well it responded.

"We want people to be absolutely confident that we are not going to sweep anything under the carpet," she said.

She says questions include the management of Wivenhoe Dam and the warnings for the Lockyer Valley.

"The Government wants exactly the same thing as Queenslanders do out of this - answers to reasonable and legitimate questions," she said.

Ms Bligh says it will have an initial budget of $15 million.

"I see this as an investment in our future safety, an investment in being better prepared for an event like this in the future," she said.

"I also think we owe it to those people who have lost loved ones and those who have lost their lives to honour their memory by learning the lessons of this flood."

Ms Bligh says the inquiry will have all the powers of a royal commission.

"The last three weeks have been truly shocking for all Queenslanders and now is the time to forensically examine the devastating chain of events and the aftermath," she said.

The inquiry will visit all communities affected by the floods.

Supreme Court Justice Cate Holmes, former police commissioner Jim O'Sullivan, and Victorian dam expert Phil Cummins will also give an interim report in August, in time for the next wet season.

They will visit flood affected communities, and hold hearings.

Tags: disasters-and-accidents, emergency-incidents, emergency-planning, floods, government-and-politics, states-and-territories, qld, brisbane-4000, grantham-4347

First posted January 17, 2011 15:53:00

Comments (3)

Comments for this story are closed, but you can still have your say.

  • ABC (Moderator):

    18 Jan 2011 8:53:55am

    What changes do you think the inquiry will prompt?

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  • big unit:

    18 Jan 2011 12:42:39pm

    Just a way to spend money. Nothing will come of it. just a way for bligh to give some friends a job for 12 months. Theres are alot more then ten people still missing, it will be years before all are found. farmers will find them in a few years when working their land. Why wasnt the dam gates open at christmas to release water. Why was it a 120% at this time, it should have been opened to let water out so it could hold more. Also its not global warming. These same floods and heavy rain happened back in 1974, 1911, 1983 in centrtal queensland and southeast QLD. look up your history. its just the cycle of the planet.

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  • Queenslander:

    18 Jan 2011 1:08:39pm

    Interesting to see if anyone will take any responsibility for development in flood plains... starting to look like planning failures. Will we ever hear the full story from real estate touts? "Charming property, river outlook, but you'll probably be flooded out in 10 or 20 years"

    Agree (1) Alert moderator

Comments for this story are closed, but you can still have your say.

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