Volunteers flood council phones!
  • Thursday 13 January 2011

The floods crises, particularly in Brisbane, Gympie and Ipswich, have opened the hearts of many Sunshine Coast residents, who have been contacting Sunshine Coast Council offering volunteer assistance, also accommodation for displaced people to stay, and goods such as food and hampers.

Mayor Bob Abbot has thanked the community for their generosity and re-emphasised that all calls made through council’s 5475 7272 number regarding these offers are being recorded by council customer service staff in anticipation of requests for such help.

"Due to the large number of calls, we ask that where possible, residents alternatively email their details to customerservice@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au ," Cr Abbot said.

"When the email is processed, customer service officers will send a return email asking ‘Do you have any objections to us providing your details to Volunteering Sunshine Coast who are coordinating coastal volunteers?’

"This is a necessary step for insurance purposes."

Before volunteers can be contacted further and allocated for assignments, council will await actual requests from neighbouring regions, Cr Abbot said.

"But we continue to welcome all forms of offers to assist," he said.

The flood levels in some areas have not reached the predicted levels feared, but there are still a large number of people affected, the mayor said.

"It will take some time for these regions to work out the logistics of relocating people, given they have all allocated respite areas organised and we ask that those registering as volunteers wait until such requests come through," Cr Abbot said.

Council’s three welfare centres, stood down two days ago, are also still in standby mode as potential receiving centres and can be re-activated at short notice.

Cr Abbot said the many offers of physical goods such as food hampers, blankets etc would be best administered through existing and efficient distribution networks such Red Cross, the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul.

"Please call Red Cross, Salvation Army or Vinnies to find out what's required; what are the priorities; and how to get supplies there," he said.