Public sector cuts to blame for recovery delays: Opposition
ONGOING job cuts across the public sector are hampering the flood recovery effort, including lengthy delays at recovery centres, the State Opposition claims.
Reports surfaced on Thursday that residents attending flood recovery centres across the south-east to inquire about natural disaster assistance were facing lengthy delays.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk placed the blame at losing hundreds of public sector staff, including 400 employees from the Communities Department.
Ms Palaszczuk said she had visited a recovery centre in Brisbane and experienced the queues for herself.
"We have also had reports that the Logan, Ipswich, Clayfield and Gold Coast Community Recovery Centres have repeatedly closed mid-morning because demand is too high for the number of staff available," she said.
"There are also reports the 1800-number people have been told to ring is understaffed and callers are being told to leave their details, but no-one is getting back to them.
"If the staff were still there in the Department of Communities we would not have these queues.
"I am asking the government to make sure more staff are sent out from different departments to make sure people's needs are being met.
"It's very important we have the staff to rebuild Queensland and this government is not doing enough."
Communities Minister Tracy Davis said the current level of demand for assistance, combined with the capacity of each venue, has meant that some community recovery centres have reached capacity during the day.
"We have responded to this demand by opening two new recovery centres, one in Beenleigh yesterday and another in Moorooka today to support those on Brisbane's south side," she said.
"Outreach workers have also been directly visiting homes across Brisbane and the south east to assess people's situation and provide financial support.
"Contrary to the Opposition Leader's claims, staff from Brisbane and other regional areas are moving across the state to offer support where it is needed most.
"It's unfortunate to see the Opposition Leader playing politics during this time while we're focused on getting support to those who need it and rebuilding people's lives."