In the aftermath of Queensland’s devastating floods last month, residents have begun taking stock of what they’ve managed to salvage – their homes, their businesses and their economic livelihoods.
The floods have strained every industry from mining, agriculture, transport and construction through to our health system including the eye care industry.
Eyewear is not a luxury. For some, it’s a necessity. Without it, people are left vulnerable, as their independence and ability to function is compromised. This issue is not so much about eye damage but rather, the detriment to society coping without glasses.
The Optometrists Association of Australia (OAA) has vowed to continue to provide whatever assistance is required to flood-struck victims with disaster relief offered by the OAA coordinated through government-appointed disaster relief organisations.
As has been the case in past situations where communities have suffered natural disasters of this magnitude, the OAA and its members are standing by to offer assistance once they start the recovery process
Luxottica is also helping with the relief effort with OPSM, Budget Eyewear, and Laubman & Pank offering customers replacement glasses, as are Specsavers and the Optical Superstore.
Mr. Ian Melrose, Managing Director, Optical Superstore, who has stores in the flooded areas of Brisbane City, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Mt. Ommaney, Kenmore and Strathpine, said “the impact of this disaster is beyond belief”.
“In reality, it’s probably going to be a dual step, three year recovery plan – in the short term, to physically try to sweep up the enormous mess and secondly, being to somehow recover from long term financial devastation.”
OAA President Michael Knipe said the eye care industry will be ready to stand by its flood-devastated members.
“As has been the case in past situations where communities have suffered natural disasters of this magnitude, the OAA and its members are standing by to offer assistance once they start the recovery process. Such measures include the loan of equipment or premises to allow optometrists in the affected areas to continue to offer quality optometric services to those requiring it.
For further coverage on the Queensland floods see our feature on page 28 of this issue.