Survivors unite, a year later

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Queensland remembers the ‘wall of water’ one year on from the summer of disaster.

Queensland  floods

Grantham residents pay tribute to flood victims during a dawn service on January 10 in Grantham, Australia.
Source: Getty Images

SURVIVORS of Queensland’s deadliest floods have marked their first anniversary, starting their day in silence, handing red candles to each other.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh gathered in Grantham for a dawn service with the families of the 12 peoplewho died there, with wreaths laid at the foot of a new memorial monument, before children released butterflies into the morning sky.

Ms Bligh later said Grantham residents cried as they gathered to remember those lost.

“This is a community of just under 300 people. They lost 12 loved ones. Everybody knew them, everybody was close to them and everybody felt a great loss,” she said after the service.

“There was a lot of tears, as you would expect . . . as those people were remembered.”

In Gatton, hundreds attended or watched a memorial service on big screens from smaller tents or under trees.

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Geoff Winsall

Candece Novoselek

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Ms Gillard declared January 10 the community’s own New Year’s Day.

“I know for many of you January 1 was no festivity.”


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