Bill Shorten has suspended his election campaign to focus on the rescue efforts of the State Emergency Services in storm-affected areas.
Shorten, who was visiting Adelaide, cut short his trip and flew straight to Sydney to inspect the damage. His first point was Coogee Bay Surf Life Saving Club. The club saw the worst devastation when king tides battered its gym. Shorten pledged to support the club in its rebuilding efforts, reported News.com.au.
Coogee Surf Life Saving Club Manager Tass Karozis informed that the club members got the warning when strong winds blew and they abandoned the club immediately. Shorten inspected the damages of the gym. “We’ve seen the terrible damage done and I think all Australians if they hadn’t already heard of this lifesaving club, will recognize it now,” the Opposition Leader said.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Opposition Leader was particularly concerned for Tasmania where the flood water is rising. He also disclosed that Prime Minister Turnbull expressed his willingness to join his visit to Victoria and then to return to NSW. However, Shorten refused to answer questions from journalists and said that it would be inappropriate. He emphasized that they must look after each other during those very difficult times.
In a bid to help the flood victims, Shorten urged insurance companies to treat customers fairly and to process insurance claims without delay. “For people who have suffered significant damage the last thing they need is to be damaged again by a long argument with an insurance company,” he noted.
Bill Shorten also appreciated the services provided by SES volunteers. “We all know there’s an election on but in moments like this Australians, rightly, want to see support for what you’re doing.”
There were around 10,500 calls for help and 300 flood rescues, said Deputy Commissioner Mark Morrow. “At some point, this is where you have to exercise common sense,” Shorten warned about not taking risks in stricken areas.