City Staff Welcomed in Brisbane

City Staff who travelled to Brisbane to help with the massive flood cleanup received a warm welcome from residents, businesses and Brisbane City Council. All volunteers, the staff come from Council's Cleansing and Waste, Civil Maintenance, Parks Services, Fleet and Health Services.

The first team comprising 31 staff and over 20 vehicles, including garbage trucks, excavators, backhoes, tipper trucks and utes, departed Sydney on Monday 24 January. Travelling to Brisbane was arduous, with several vehicles only able to travel at low speeds.

The team began work at 7:30am on Australia Day in the Brisbane suburb of St Lucia, on the banks of the Brisbane River next to Queensland University. During that day, the team removed approximately 67.5 tonnes of waste, the majority of it comprising internal lining and kitchens from flood effected homes. In some cases the entire contents of homes were removed.

A second crew of 26 staff volunteers took over on Monday. They completed a check of six suburbs and two industrial estates, and took 55 tonnes of waste to the tip. Some 176 tonnes of waste were shifted in the first three days.

The crews will continue to work over the weekend and return to Sydney next Monday.

Two teams of nine Health Inspectors and one engineer are also helping Brisbane City Council with more than 300 health-related inspections. The inspections include reopening flood damaged food premises, assessing environmental safety issues such as parks contaminated by raw sewage early morning inspections of the flood affected Brisbane Markets.

On Monday, Council unanimously commended and thanked the volunteers who have travelled to Brisbane and endorsed my recommendation to donate $200,000 to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal.

All staff will receive their full salary for the time they are away, and the City will also meet reasonable out of pocket expenses.

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