Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer says every dollar donated at Saturday night’s flood relief free entry match at Skilled Park will help a flood-stricken family to rebuild their lives.
The clean-up is well underway, but many of those affected face months or years of tough times ahead as they recover from their losses and get over the shock of what happened to them in Queensland’s flood crisis. Mr Palmer called on the local community to use the match against the Newcastle Jets as a way to show flood victims that support is close by and will be ongoing.
“I felt it was important that we put on a vehicle for the community to be able to express themselves and raise some money if we can for all those people who unfortunately lost their homes, possessions or livelihoods due to the Queensland floods,” Mr Palmer said.
He continued: “So the club is putting on what is essentially a free day for everybody this Saturday night when we play the Newcastle Jets at Skilled Park. Once at the game, everyone can make a donation if they want to for the flood relief fund, but anyone who has already donated, or doesn't feel they are able to donate, can just come and enjoy some good football.
“Every dollar helps, especially to people who have lost everything. If you go to the Lockyer Valley where I was the other day then you will see people who haven’t even got a pillow, and it doesn't cost much for a pillow.
“So yes, every dollar counts because it can buy a pillow, a blanket or even a warm cup of coffee, which can make a difference at times like these.
“I think a big crowd will send a message to those affected that we care about them. As Queenslanders we should all care about each other and this is a time of natural disaster. So Gold Coast United will be doing its bit to support the community and I hope the community will come along in big numbers.”
As a man who has travelled the world and witnessed hardship in its many forms, Mr Palmer said he had never previously seen such extensive damage covering such a large area, threatening homes, property and lives.
“You have to remember that the devastation stretched from Rockhampton right down to the border and out west. It was certainly very cruel and the floodwaters indiscriminately hit families and hit small communities creating a life or death situation.
“On our own properties we lost fifteen head of good racehorses who all drowned and we nearly lost five or six of our workforce,” he said.