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Submitted by Premier's Office on
On Thusday 12 May, Premier Anna Bligh made these remarks to Parliament ( As the Deputy Premier reported to parliament yesterday, Operation Queenslander is in full swing across the state. We are making good progress but we are always happy to take advice from institutions such as the World Bank, which has many years of experience and expertise in disaster recovery. When the images of the devastating floods and Cyclone Yasi were beamed around the world in January, the World Bank wrote to the Prime Minister asking to come to Queensland as part of an observer program and to learn from our recovery efforts. On 14 March, a World Bank team gathered in Brisbane to work with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. Ten specialists from a range of sectors were on the bank team including disaster risk management, economics, social development, communications and environmental science experts. The undertaking was based on a knowledge exchange where the bank contributes global good practice and at the same time learns from our experience in recovery, reconstruction and risk mitigation. These World Bank delegates attended committee meetings of each of the six lines of reconstruction, read strategies, listened, gave feedback and organised workshops on what has worked in the bank’s reconstruction projects. They also travelled to the Lockyer Valley, where they spent time with affected business owners, farmers, volunteer groups and local government officials. In a recent entry on the World Bank website Henrike Brecht, who travelled with the delegation, reported— "The Government response has been efficient and the greatest barriers on the way to recovery have been overcome. The authorities have reacted rapidly to save lives, provided emergency funding to individuals and communities, and set-up institutions charged with the management of the recovery and reconstruction. Only two months after the floods, Queensland is already well on the path to recovery: most coal mines are back in operation, many families received financial assistance to cope with the impact of the floods, and new guidelines for resilient construction in cyclone prone areas were released." She also writes— "Queensland is now undertaking a careful analysis of the causes of the floods. It realizes that a sustainable approach to flood risk management is needed to reduce flood risk." It is a great tribute, I think, to all of those who are working very hard in all communities across Queensland to make the reconstruction effort work that it is being recognised by world and global organisations like the World Bank. As I have said, Operation Queenslander is in full swing and nowhere more so than in Grantham.