Rex Airlines has announced it is dipping into its Disaster Relief Fund to assist the flood-ravaged areas of Queensland and NSW over the coming weeks.
The regional carrier is setting aside an additional $1 million of funding to provide freight and passenger transport assistance for victims of the disaster.
The move comes as the two Australian states continue to suffer from severe flooding and the weather is likely set to continue for the coming week.
“We have all seen the pictures of the destruction caused by the floods and the human misery being endured by so many who’ve had their homes, businesses and livelihoods literally washed away,” Rex deputy chairman, the Hon John Sharp AM, said.
“We are partners with the communities we serve, and we will always stand by them in the good times – and the bad – and do whatever we can to help them and support the recovery efforts which will obviously take many, many months,” he added.
The fund was originally established to bring disaster relief to communities in regional Australia and was last used for Port Macquarie a year ago during the floods.
Community groups working on alleviating the impact of the floods will be able to apply to receive passenger and freight transportation on the Rex network.
Small businesses and private individuals will also get a chance to access the services if involved in food relief initiatives.
Application can be made via email to [email protected] or via the Rex website at rex.com.au/aboutrex/inthecommunity/request_form.aspx.
The flooding began in Queensland late last week and is now moving towards NSW, with several areas on high alert, and some already evacuating.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he flew over Ballina and Lismore which is continuing to face severe damage.
Lismore Airport is now largely underwater, and at least one aircraft has been destroyed by floodwaters at Lismore, while dramatic photos of the airport currently show all the airport’s hangars almost entirely submerged.
Murwillumbah Airport is also heavily flooded, with damage reported to planes and infrastructure.
Areas such as the Sydney metropolitan area, Wollongong, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains could see up to 200 millimetres of rain in the coming days.
According to Dean Narramore from the Bureau of Meteorology, “these totals will likely, particularly around the 200-millimetre mark, lead to life-threatening and dangerous flash flooding”.
While NSW is getting the tail end of floods in the north-east of Australia, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said dangerous thunderstorms are forecasted to impact multiple devastated areas from Thursday.
But, several airports in Queensland are beginning to recover from the severe flooding, Australian Aviation reported on Tuesday.
Gold Coast Airport officially reopened on Tuesday morning, with additional flights scheduled to accommodate for Monday’s cancellations.
Brisbane Airport also confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that it has resumed operations across both its runways.