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I cannot help but feel devastated when seeing the woes of Queensland floods on my television screen. The water destruction has been mind boggling. To hear of 22 deaths to date and many more still unaccounted for is unsettling to say the least. It is also difficult to see the prized possessions of many, completely trashed and washed away.

We Cantabrians have been through a devastating earthquake but terrible as it was, we were able to bounce back to near normality quite quickly. Unfortunately that will not be the case for our Queensland cousins.

I say “cousins” because despite a friendly trans-Tasman rivalry, that’s what we are. We enjoy a unique camaraderie forged in World War One when the term Anzacs was coined.

I am therefore encouraged that our government was quick to send some aid personnel.

As the waters recede, we wish our Queensland cousins well and hope for a swift clean-up effort, allowing their industry and agriculture to begin the long road to recovery.