Waiting for the call to clear up

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A YOUNG Brighouse man will be rolling up his sleeves and helping with the big clear-up in flood-hit Queensland.

Former Brighouse High School pupil David Holmes lives on Australia’s Gold Coast, a short drive from the worst-affected area round Brisbane, but he has volunteered with his work colleagues to get involved in the massive salvage operation in the devastated city.

David, aged 27, has lived in Australia for nearly two years. He said the floods which swamped more than 30,000 properties in Brisbane and surged through large areas of southern Queensland had caused a lot of heartache with people losing their homes and possessions.

“Though the floods have receded now there is a massive amount of debris and damage to sort out. There has been a lot of generosity and community spirit with people donating clothing and other items to the flood victims. There have been so many volunteers wanting to help out that some of them have had to be turned back.

“We had the torrential rain on the Gold Coast but were lucky to escape the flooding this time.”

David, the son of retired Methodist minister Edward Holmes, works as an industrial chemist for a pharmaceutical firm. “They have been asking for volunteers to get involved in the clear-up and we’re just waiting to hear whether we’ll be needed this weekend. So many people from Queensland and outside are keen to help.”

David decided to travel to Australia after his girlfriend Jade Ellerker’s family emigrated there. His job with Petlin Operations means that he can prolong his stay. “I love it out here,” he said.