VIDEO: Transformation after Cyclone Marcia is amazing
THE LAST time Annastacia Palaszczuk walked through Rockhampton's Botanic Gardens, she was surrounded by fallen trees, damaged enclosures and broken hearts of council workers.
But her visit to the Rockhampton region on Saturday was a completely different experience with nothing but the smiling faces of community members and council staff as they presented her with a complete transformation of the grounds just one year on from Cyclone Marcia.
The Queensland Premier attended both the Rockhampton and Livingstone Cyclone Marcia anniversary celebrations over the weekend where she praised the community for keeping their community spirit.
"I remember the night before the cyclone hit the coast," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We were all anxious and uncertain about where exactly the cyclone would pass over. As I walk around today you wouldn't even know that the cyclone had caused such widespread damage to this community.
"It was a very tough time for many families throughout this region, people won't forget the aftermath of that cyclone and the memories will be there for many, many years.
"Over the past year the state and federal governments, along with the local councils have worked co-operatively to rebuild. I want to pay tribute to all of the SES workers, Ergon workers, the Army and the volunteers."
Cyclone Marcia fast facts:
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, with (QldRA) assistance, assessed 1938 properties as damaged, including 667 properties as uninhabitable.
All regional ports including Abbott Point, Mackay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Port Alma and Hay Point were closed, bringing shipping and associated industries to a standstill.
More than 100 schools were closed, four passenger and two freight rail lines were closed and services such as the Rockhampton Tilt Train and the Inlander were disrupted.
The Queensland Government also approved more than $14.7 million for personal hardship and essential services, more than 41,000 food vouchers at a total cost of approximately $7.8 million, $12 million in assistance for primary producers, small business and not-for-profits, special assistance grants totalling $7 million to clean up green waste and restore recreational facilities and an NDRRA Category C Community Recovery Fund of $5 million continues to help restore social networks and community functioning in the Rockhampton, Livingstone, Banana, North Burnett and Gladstone (part) local government areas.