‘Appalling’: Surfing Icon Kelly Slater Rips Into Scott Morrison Over Flood Crisis
By Matthew Sullivan
Surfing icon Kelly Slater has labelled the Federal government’s handling of the floods in northern NSW and southeast Queensland “nothing short of appalling”.
Parts of the east coast have been drastically affected by floods in recent weeks. The death toll from the crisis currently stands at 17 — there have been six deaths in NSW and 13 in Queensland.
As NSW’s Northern Rivers and the southeast corner of Queensland begin the recovery, many have slammed the Federal government’s response to the floods as grossly inadequate.
Slater condemned the fact local communities have been left to do far too much of the clean-up job on their own.
“The lack of federal assistance in the flood zones in northern NSW has been nothing short of appalling. The stories from friends are hard to comprehend,” Slater wrote on Instagram on Monday.
“But the gathering of local communities has been inspiring to watch from afar. So while the MP @scottmorrisonmp 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 surfing world champion also posted a screenshot of a text conversation with another person, who called Prime Minister Scott Morrison “the biggest joke in Australian history”.
The person said locals themselves are paying for helicopters to drop supplies to remote areas, and added many helicopters are just filming the floods without dropping anything to isolated people.
Slater’s comments come after Australian tennis legend Pat Rafter, who has been helping with the clean up effort, also said the state and federal governments should be doing more to help communities affected by the floods.
“The clean up from the community has been incredible,” Rafter told ABC News.
“Everyone’s banded together and everyone’s feeling really good and helping everyone. I’ve loved watching people get together but they’re tired, they’re starting to get to the end.
“I mean, I don’t know where they go. The Premier talks about how they can fix the problem. “I don’t know how they fix it. This is a really big issue. For me, the number one thing is how do you get a roof over their heads.
Pat Rafter (right) and Luke and Liam Hemsworth have been helping the clean up effort in Lismore.
“Lismore is in trouble. It’s the second flood in five years. I don’t know where it goes to from now. Are you just going to clean up something that’s going to get destroyed again in another five or 10 years?
“There are so many towns from Gympie all the way down to Sydney that are affected I wouldn’t even know. It’s brutal. There are probably 50, 100 towns scattered down that coast that are all affected that are not getting any help, any support whatsoever.
“The one thing the government hopefully can do is get the aerial support because they do need that. I know a lot of these towns are cut off but they need the drops.
“A lot of it again has been done by local people putting their hands in their pockets and paying for these helicopters to get them up in the air.”