Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (16:42): by leave—I, and also on behalf of all other Queensland senators, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes the heartbreak and loss suffered by the residents of the Townsville region following the record breaking floods last week and expresses its support and understanding;
(b) further notes the magnificent efforts of the Australian Defence Force and Emergency Service Workers, Police, Council staff, all other agencies and individuals involved in protecting life and property during the floods and the subsequent clean-up and expresses the gratitude and support of the Parliament and the Australian people; and
(c) acknowledges and applauds the selfless and compassionate actions of:
(i) the great "tinnie navy" of ordinary folk who rescued residents as well as their pets from rising waters at all hours of the day and night,
(ii) the masses of Townsville residents who have donated clothing, food, money and household items,
(iii) the local businesses who put their hands in their pocket to boost the flood appeal by more than $1m,
(iv) the volunteers who assisted at drop-off centres, and
(v) the mud army tackling the mould and grime.
I seek leave to make a very short statement about the motion.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator IAN MACDONALD: I know all Queensland senators and, indeed, I suspect, all senators will agree with this motion. I just mention that it's times of calamities like what happened unexpectedly and unusually in Townsville last week that bring out the best in people. The way neighbours got in to help each other and people they didn't even know—I particularly want to again mention the huge work the Australian Army did. Many of its members themselves had been affected by the floods, but they were out helping others. There are all sorts of people that are mentioned in the motion and there were more besides.
My motion deals particularly with Townsville, but I also do acknowledge, as we did in question time, that there is an unfolding drama and tragedy happening in north-west Queensland as the unprecedented rain out there also takes effect.
Question agreed to.