Kelly Slater blasts Scott Morrison over 'appalling' response to floods

Kelly Slater, pictured here on the World Surfing Tour.
Kelly Slater has blasted the Federal government's response to the flooding disaster. Image: Getty

Surfing legend Kelly Slater has blasted Scott Morrison and the Federal government's response to the deadly floods in Queensland and NSW, describing them as "nothing short of appalling".

The death toll from the flood disaster in south-east Queensland has risen to 13 after the body of a man was found in floodwaters.

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A further six people have died in northern NSW.

Queensland is looking at a damages bill of more than $2.5 billion, with treasury estimating the cost of fixing damaged public infrastructure like roads, bridges, railways and ports will be at least $500 million, while the insurance claims on damaged homes and businesses are likely to top $936 million.

American surfing legend Slater, who has friends affected by the crisis in NSW, took to social media on Monday to bemoan the fact that locals on the ground have been left to conduct the immediate clean up on their own.

"The lack of federal assistance in the flood zones in northern NSW has been nothing short of appalling," Slater wrote on Instagram.

"The stories from friends are hard to comprehend.

“But the gathering of local communities has been inspiring to watch from afar.

"So while the Scott Morrison and cohorts pat themselves on the back or poke fun at people who ‘live in the gum trees’, the communities will continue to get on with the tasks at hand in helping their neighbours.”

The 11-time world champion shared a screenshot of a text message conversation with another person, who labelled the Prime Minister “the biggest joke in Australian history”.

The unnamed person claimed locals are paying for helicopters themselves in order to get supplies to remote areas.

Two people, pictured here hugging after moving their belongings to a boat from a flooded home in Brisbane.
People hug after moving their belongings to a boat from a flooded home in Brisbane. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)

Scott Morrison working on further support for victims

On Monday, Mr Morrison said work was underway on a further support package for flood victims, on top of previous financial assistance.

In the past week more than 163,000 claims have been made to the government, with more than $193.5 million spent in disaster recovery payments.

Mr Morrison said as many as 2000 ADF personnel had been deployed to flood-affected areas, and that will increase to 5000 in coming days.

"ADF assistance includes airdrops of food and supplies into isolated communities, and helping clear roads to restore essential services like power and internet," the PM said.

"We know more support will be required, especially in Lismore and surrounding districts, where flood levels are reported to have peaked above all known records.

"In Lismore, it is not just a flood event, it is a catastrophic event."

Members of the Australian Defence Force, pictured here at a staging area in Gatton, NSW.
Members of the Australian Defence Force are seen at a staging area in Gatton, NSW. (Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images)

However some locals in affected communities have said their experience was different and they had not witnessed any ADF support.

The government has also been criticised for not spending from its $4.8 billion emergency response fund on flood mitigation measures in the wake of the disaster.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese attacked the government for not allocating funds to help deal with floods in areas such as Lismore.

"The government has completely failed to act in advance, even though the warnings were there, just like they have failed to act on disaster recovery," he told reporters in Adelaide.

"Lismore has been flood affected many times. There's a reason why much of the housing in Lismore is elevated."

with AAP

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