TORN-UP tar and broken asphalt lies strewn across the earth where an often used car park of the scenic Rocks Ferry Reserve once stood.
Acting Governor-General Marie Bashir was shocked at the ferocity of the floodwaters, which recently swept through the Hastings, as she inspected the Wauchope site on Wednesday.
“It’s like a giant came along and squished it like soft toffee,” Professor Bashir said of the ruptured bits of road and tar.
“It’s the way the asphalt’s been broken up, I mean you have to see it to believe it, that that’s what ferocious water could do.”
Her visit comes as the region is again declared a natural disaster area after the recent destructive deluge.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council had spent some $210,000 upgrading the Rocks Ferry Reserve recently.
Professor Bashir inspected the flood-ravaged Hastings from a helicopter, along with mayor Peter Besseling, and council’s director of infrastructure Jeffery Sharp.
“Australians, it will be fixed but in the mean time we’ve got to think of ways where such ferocity of flooded rivers can be addressed,” she said.
Cr Besseling said he was sure Mr Sharp had a tear in his eye as he surveyed the area from above.
From damaged houses and farms, to oyster leases washed out to sea – the enormity of the job ahead was made clear.
“It’s a devastated community I suppose in terms of the damage that has been done,” Cr Besseling said.
“It doesn’t come along that often but when it does it has a big impact.”
Despite the obvious display of destruction Professor Bashir was encouraged by the large number of local’s banding together to begin the repairs.
She personally thanked State Emergency Service workers and the Rural Fire Service on behalf of all Australians.
“They’re vital, they’re outstanding, they’re courageous – I can’t think of words adequate to thank them and wherever you go in NSW and beyond, that’s the spirit of Australia.”