21 Januari 2011

Australia Thanks Indonesia for Helping Queensland

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard thanked Indonesia for donating one million US dollars to support reconstruction program in the aftermath of deadly flash floods in Queensland, a president aide said.

"President received Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s call at 12.30 PM. She thanked Indonesia for our commitment to helping the reconstruction and rehabilitation programs in Queensland," the head of state’s aide for international relations Teuku Faizasyah said here Thursday.

President Yudhoyono was quoted as saying that Indonesia’s commitment to Australia was a form of solidarity to the country which had often assisted Indonesia when natural disasters occurred. In the phone talks, the Australian leader also congratulated Indonesia on its position as this year’s president of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits, he said.

Gillard expected Indonesia to be able to make breakthroughs during its ASEAN chairmanship period. For this purpose, Canberra was ready for assisting Indonesia. In connection with the state of Queensland’s flood disaster, tens of thousands of people were affected, including over 150 Indonesians who took refuge to secure areas in St.Lucia suburb in Brisbane.

The flood waters that had previously inundated many places in this city of two million people, including St.Lucia suburb as one of the clusters of the Indonesian community in Queensland had receded since last weekend. This condition has enabled the city and state governments as well as local residents, including Indonesian citizens, to conduct a massive clean-up and damage repair operation.

As reported by "ABC News", Queensland Premier Anna Bligh had even met with her cabinet members and related government officials on Monday for talks about the state’s recovery and reconstruction programs. Bligh voiced her government’s commitment to rebuilding Queensland and making its people more resistant and better protected.

The recent flood disaster, which has made Brisbane become like "a dead city", has recorded various heroic stories about the power of struggle and the power of solidarity and brotherhood of human beings. The power of brotherhood of humanity, which disregards the socio-economic, cultural, and other primordial differences, has also been shown by Indonesian community members there.

In the flooding, which has brought Queenslanders’ memories back to the 1974 flood disaster, more than 120 Indonesians were also displaced and fled their flat units and houses to higher areas in St.Lucia. They were then sheltered in 16 houses and accommodation units that Indonesians rented in the suburb where the University of Queensland (UQ)’s main campus is located.