Queensland flood crisis may be most costly in nation: official

19:02, January 17, 2011      

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Australian Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Monday, Queensland flood crisis may prove to be the most costly natural disaster ever to hit Australia.

"It looks like this is possibly going to be, in economic terms, the largest natural disaster in our history," Swan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday.

"It will involve billions of dollars of commonwealth money, and also state government money, and there's going to be impacts on local government as well," Swan said.

"This is very big ... It's not just something which is going to occupy our time for the next few months. It will be a question of years as we go through the rebuilding process ..."

Swan said the government was determined to return the budget to surplus in 2013 as promised, but there would be some tough decisions ahead to achieve that.

"There's no doubt that the costs involved in responding to this natural disaster are substantial, but we shouldn't forget that we' ve also got a very strong economy, a strong investment pipeline, and strong public finances."

Swan said the flood disaster would affect living costs across Australia.

"There's no doubt there will be some impact, yes, in the cost of living," he said.

"There will be all sorts of impacts but ... (it's) far too early to be putting figures on those."

Source:Xinhua
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