A federal member of parliament has questioned the motives and direction of the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.
Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz, whose electorate covers the Lockyer Valley region that has dominated the inquiry recently, said he hopes Premier Anna Bligh is being honest when she claims public servants and emergency services workers are able to speak freely with no fear of retribution.
We have heard a number of fire officers from our region give testimony relating to requests for more help being rejected and being told to stay quiet by management, he said.
Yet it appears that the barrister representing the state government is more interested in questioning witnesses about their personal dealings than asking about the actual flood.
Mr Buchholz said he cannot help but be suspicious due to the inaction and attitude of the State Government since the floods. Of the millions of dollars raised only a tiny fraction has been paid to victims yet the spin and excuses keep coming. Weve heard the Premier talking tough about insurance companies yet theyve laughed in her face.
Ive sat with these people day after day and have seen first hand their pain and anguish. The Premier drops by for a few photo ops, says a few words for the media and does absolutely nothing, he said.
Mr Buchholz has labelled the State Governments treatment of the victims in his electorate and across the state as disgraceful. Even the US government got their act together after their initial mistakes with Hurricane Katrina, but our state and federal governments have turned their backs on the victims in the most arrogant and scandalous of ways.
Now theyve embarked on an inquiry where they seem not to want the truth to come out,
I call on the Premier to direct the inquiry to dig deeper into some of these claims and find the truth. I also ask her to stop waffling and send people into flood affected areas across Queensland to sort out the payments once and for all. Stop the red tape and show some leadership Premier, Mr Buchholz said.