Bundaberg flattened as waters recede
RAW VISION: Waters retreat at Bundaberg, revealing gaping holes in roads and bridges, houses carried onto roads and countryside flattened. Vision: Nine News.PT1M21S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2dn2g 620 349 January 31, 2013
Australians are failing to dig deep for the 2013 flood appeal, with donations off to a slow start, according to the Red Cross.
The Queensland Floods Appeal 2013, launched on Monday, has raised between $4 million and $5 million.
Many people have absolutely nothing to go back to, and the long-term economic and personal impact is going to be really significant
There have been no officially announced contributions from other state governments.
Flood damage in Bundaberg. Photo: Nine News
Within a few weeks of the 2011 flood appeal being launched it had $168 million and in the days before the Brisbane River peaked both Victoria and NSW had pledged $1 million each.
Red Cross Acting Executive Director in Queensland Matthew Cox attributed the difference to people being slow to realisation the devastating effect of the flood in Bundaberg, where thousands of homes had been inundated and some were even washed away.
"To be honest I think the story a couple of days ago in the media was that we had dodged a bullet, it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be in Brisbane and Ipswich," he said.
"I think that is probably true but then it's really bad up here."
Mr Cox spent Thursday in Bundaberg where he met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Premier Campbell Newman.
Mr Cox said the political leaders had been "shocked" by the extent of the damage.
"Many people have absolutely nothing to go back to, and the long-term economic and personal impact is going to be really significant," he said.
Mr Cox said he hoped more people would donate to the Red Cross appeal as they became aware of the devastation.
While not wanting to put a figure on how much money he hoped the appeal would raise he admitted he was hoping for more than already there.
"To be honest we are still understanding the scale of the disaster," he said.
"In Rockhampton for instance, the flood hasn't even happened there yet so we've got to see how it unfolds in those communities.
"Yesterday was the first time we could get into Bundaberg. We're still getting sketchy details."
People can donate to the 2013 flood appeal by visiting www.redcross.org.au.