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Government flood response will cost millions

Government flood response will cost millions

The final bill after this week's severe flooding will run into many millions of dollars, Civil Defence Minister George Hawkins says.

"While no-one knows the full dimension of the devastation and no-one can compensate for the widespread personal loss of this event, the government is committed to meeting a significant part of the final bill and recognises that this will run into millions of dollars, " Mr Hawkins says.

Costs to be met by the Government will include initial cleanup efforts, repairs to a range of community infrastructure such as bridges, roads, sewerage and water facilities, and a range of other assistance.

Mr Hawkins said the Government's response to date had been comprehensive, utilising police, defence, fire service, a range of other government agencies and a number of volunteers. On Wednesday a package offering Taskforce Green workers and a 'one stop shop' to coordinate assistance had been announced. Flood affected farms have been offered MAF assistance.

Mr Hawkins today made his third visit in five days to the disaster areas. He accompanied the Prime Minister to the region on Wednesday.

As the floodwaters receded and the scale of the devastation became more apparent, his visit today confirmed the impression the Prime Minister and he had formed that the final bill would be many millions of dollars.

Thankfully, further severe rain that was anticipated last night did not hit as hard as originally feared, he said.

"Today people are looking ahead, beyond the first phase of the devastation. Everyone working together has been one of the most heart-warming aspects of the last few days."

Mr Hawkins said full recovery will take a lot longer as people came to terms with the painful events of the last week.

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