Queensland 2013 Floods: Donations to Victims Come in Trickles, Cites Donor Fatigue

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 4, 2013 2:34 PM EST

Donations to victims of Queensland's 2013 floods, as opposed to the devastating surge of waters that came on in January, are only coming in by the trickles.

Terry Mackenroth, chairman of the Queensland Flood Appeal Committee, said the group has so far only collected $6 million in donations, versus the target of $15 million.

''For the amount of devastation I've seen just through watching television, it is not going to go anywhere near paying the sorts of claims we will receive,'' Mr Mackenroth said.

''When someone's house has been flooded, they probably don't even have a toothbrush."

"They've lost everything.''

Ex-cyclone Oswald poured a record-breaking amount of rainfall that gave about massive flash floods and led river waters to surge, ultimately submerging entire towns on coastal Queensland and northern NSW.

For the victims to be able to immediately start reclaiming their lives, Mr Mackenroth said at least $15 million to $25 million is needed.

"That's just to start, before we start to look at repairing homes and replacing some homes," he said.

"We launched our Queensland Flood Appeal 2013 on 29 January but so far donations are not coming in at either the speed or the size we saw two years ago during the first few days after we launched our appeal to help  victims of the 2010-2011 floods," Brian Moore, President of Vinnies Qld, said.

Whereas two years ago the other state governments immediately extended help, this time only the state government of Queensland as well as the federal government pledged financial assistance of only $1 million each.

The flood appeal from the Queensland 2011 floods raised a quarter of a billion dollars.

"There are many reasons with perhaps the central reason being the economy. Many people are struggling financially at present," Mr Moore said.

"There is concern about the economy as unemployment figures inch up and living costs continue to rise and families battle to cope with the sharp increases in electricity, train and bus fares and other expenses," he says. Another reason is "donor fatigue," Mr Moore said.

Read more:

Queensland 2013 Floods Tops 2011 Tragedy

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