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Gillard snubs Qld flood victims: Palmer


Mining magnate Clive Palmer has accused the federal government of treating Queensland with contempt with its $1 million contribution to the flood appeal.

The state government's appeal has struggled to attract sufficient donations since it was established last week, with former Labor MPs joining calls for more public donations.

While the commonwealth is likely to fund a large chunk of Queensland's rebuilding in the wake of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, Mr Palmer says Canberra's $1 million contribution to the flood appeal is a joke.

He said Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government had given just 20 cents for every Queenslander.

"The prime minister's contribution to the disaster relief funding is a disgrace, and it's even more disappointing considering the deputy prime minister and treasurer Wayne Swan is a Queenslander," he said in a statement.

"Does the prime minister regard Queenslanders as worthless, and does Mr Swan have no regard for his fellow Queenslanders?"

Mr Palmer said a $200 million contribution from the federal government would be a more appropriate donation.

"Labor is well and truly on the nose in Queensland, as the landslide state election defeat for the Bligh government in March last year showed," he said.

"The Gillard government has shown contempt for flood-affected Queensland communities and can expect a similar shellacking when they go to the polls on September 14."

Australian Red Cross chief executive Robert Tickner, a former Keating government minister, said more money was urgently needed to help flood victims in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Maryborough and Ipswich recover.

"As floodwaters recede in Queensland and people begin to return home, the magnitude of the task they face is becoming clear," he said in a statement.

Flood appeal chairman Terry Mackenroth, a former Labor deputy premier, has said the $6 million raised by the appeal was well short of the $15 million needed.

Mr Swan wrote on Twitter that Mr Palmer's comments were "wrong".

He added the federal government had spent $9 billion during the past four years to repair Queensland's natural disaster damage, including the 2011 floods and cyclone Yasi.

"More to come to rebuild after these floods," Mr Swan tweeted.