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Floods trigger looting warning

Thursday January 31, 2013 - 12:40 EDT

Police are warning looters of the severe penalties for the offence during a natural disaster.

Two teenage girls and a 25-year-old man have been charged with looting two businesses in Gympie's main street during the floods.

Inspector Bruce McNab says looters can face penalties of up to 10 years in jail.

"The circumstance of aggravation for looting increased the penalty substantially and that's a reflection of the community's expectations about the type of people who would go in and take property out of a business premises or someone's house when they're being affected by natural disasters such as the flooding we've had here and in other parts of Queensland," he said.

There have also been reports of looting in Bundaberg and police are asking residents who see anything suspicious to report it immediately.

Meanwhile, the State Government says it is committed to helping the Gympie community recover from its worst flood in more than a decade.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli visited the region yesterday to inspect flood-affected areas.

It is Gympie's fourth flood in three years.

Mr Crisafulli says the resilience of local residents and businesses is remarkable.

"In the case of Gympie, the way the city bounces back is as good as you'll see anywhere but that doesn't mean the Government can throw our arms in the air and say, 'she'll be right' and walk away," he said.

"We've got to be there to lend assistance when it comes to doing things ... like rebuilding infrastructure."


© ABC 2013

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