We will overcome challenges: recovery chief
QUEENSLAND Police Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing has seen his fair share of disasters during his 35-year career.
But luckily for Bundaberg and the North Burnett, Mr Pointing's knowledge and expertise in disaster management will lead help the two communities through the flood recovery.
Mr Pointing is no stranger to regional Queensland, hailing from the small town of Blackall.
"My father was a police officer, so we moved around a lot, including (to) Blackall, Miles and Biloela," he said.
"As a kid we spent many weekends playing football and cricket in the North Burnett area."
He later followed in his dad's footsteps by joining the force as a young cadet in Roma, with strong ambitions to work in the Stock Investigation Squad, which he did during the 1980s.
Mr Pointing's career has involved postings in Ipswich, Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, Rockhampton and the Gold Coast, before he was appointed as the district disaster co-ordinator in Brisbane.
"During the 2010/11 floods, which was Yasi, I was the executive officer for the State Disaster Management Group," he said.
Mr Pointing has relocated to Bundaberg indefinitely to work with the two councils in the capacity of recovery co-ordinator.
He said he hoped to fast-track recovery and cut through any red tape where it might exist.
He also announced yesterday that Bundaberg Police Inspector Kev Guteridge had been appointed his deputy.
"The issues are many and there are some great challenges," he said.
Mr Pointing said there were four key pillars during this recovery stage - infrastructure, community, economy and environment.
He said infrastructure, including roads, bridges and rail lines was a top priority, as was restoring community events.
"All those community events we normally celebrate, it's vitally important we do everything we can to ensure they go forward," he said.
"It brings people together."
Mr Pointing said the rural economy, small business and tourism were inextricably linked.
"It's so important to focus on all aspects of the economy, as many are dependent on each other," he said.
He said he was impressed with the effectiveness of the Local Disaster Management Group's operation and communication during the floods.
"They obviously have a high degree of confidence," he said.
He said one of the elements to restoring the community was "betterment".
"It makes strong sense to look for opportunities to reinstate infrastructure, where viable, in ways that will be more robust for the future.," he said.
"We've got every confidence whilst there will be challenges, the communities of Bundaberg and North Burnett will overcome them."