Australia PM visits flood ravaged areas

Reuters

by Reuters

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Infrastructure damaged and homes destroyed - this is the town of Bundaberg in Australia, hit by heavy flooding over the last week.

Cyclone Oswald dumped up to 200 millimetres of rain across the state of Queensland - in Bundaberg alone 2,000 homes were inundated forcing the evacuation of more than 7,000 people.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited the town on Thursday to inspect the damage.

She announced steps to help Bundaberg and its residents recover, including the deployment of up to 220 Australian Defence Force personnel to assist in the cleanup.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD:

"There is assistance to help with cleanup for households and we just made available assistance with concessional loans for primary producers and small businesses that have been knocked around by these floods and tornadoes."

The floodwaters began receding on Tuesday.

Six people were killed in the flooding.

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