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Monday / July 22.
HomeminewsOptometrists Stranded by Queensland Floods

Optometrists Stranded by Queensland Floods

The devastating floods are continuing in Queensland. Many people have lost their lives and hundreds of people are homeless. People are scrambling to build levees to save what they can.

The major towns affected are Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Dalby, Warwick, Gympie, Murphys Creek, Helidon, Grantham, Gatton, Glenore Grove, Stanthorpe, Chinchilla and other places downstream. The cost both short- and long-term will be enormous.

The Queensland and Northern Territory division of the Optometrists Association Australia (OAA) says about 100 of Queensland’s 950 optometrists are based in flood-affected areas of the state.

OAA QLD/NT CEO Greg Johnson, himself a resident of Toowoomba but currently stranded in Brisbane, says he has “done a ring around” of optometrists in Toowoomba and towns in the surrounding areas and “all report that their practices and their homes are safe”.

… the economic impact of the floods was “going to be devastating” for everyone and will be felt by local optometrists in the coming months

He says the major concern is about the economic impact of the floods over the next few months.

Toowoomba Optometrist Mrs Shannon Smith, who was immediate Past President of the OAA QLD/NT is devastated by the impact of the floods.

“You can’t imagine that a town that sits on the top of the hill could possibly flood like this. And the most devastating thing is that there was no warning. It just hit so quickly and people were trapped.

“We are safe. We are up a little on higher ground but we were still having to direct the water away from the doors. There was just so much rain and it is still raining.

Mrs. Smith said the economic impact of the floods was “going to be devastating” for everyone and will be felt by local optometrists in the coming months.

“People are going to be directing their money to other places – to fixing and replacing things – and while glasses aren’t luxury items, they’ll be thinking their old glasses will get them through.”

She said her practice, Outlook Eye Centre in South Toowoomba, was open for business.

“We have had a few people come through today – people who had appointments – but there are others who can’t make it and I’d expect to see a downturn in the industry over the next few weeks and month”.

The OAA has urged people to donate to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund.

To donate to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal go to: www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html or call (AUS) 1800 219 028.

To donate to the Salvation Army Flood Relief effort go to: www.salvos.org.au.

If you are concerned about a member of the OAA Qld/NT that you can’t contact phone the OAA Qld/NT office: (AUS) 07 3839 4411. Otherwise, to find out information on family and friends caught up in the flooding disaster phone the Information hotline for friends and family: (AUS) 1300 993 191.