Dead cattle at Eddington Station in western Queenand. Photograph: Rachael Anderson
© Rachael Anderson
Dead cattle at Eddington Station in western Queensland.
The Queensland government has announced an inquiry into the historic flooding in Townsville, as evidence mounts that local authorities failed to anticipate the extreme nature of the recent record rainfall.

The independent inquiry will look into "key preparedness and response elements" to the storms that dumped more than one metre of rain on Townsville in less than a week.

In the west of the state, graziers have been confronted with scenes described by one mayor as "hell", as it became clear up to 300,000 cattle had died in the floods. The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the sight so many cattle that had died agonising deaths made her "sick in the stomach".

The prime minister on Friday afternoon announced the grants to flood affected areas that were set at $25,000 on Thursday, had been raised to $75,000. Scott Morrison also said the commonwealth would provide an additional $3m to support mental health services in flood affected areas.

"It will be a very, very difficult time. And while there are services in towns, those who are out in stations, those who are out dealing on the ground with their stock, who are dying in some of the most horrific circumstances, they will need our support," he said.

On Friday, Palaszczuk distanced her government from the decision to open the Ross River dam floodgates on Sunday night, which sent huge volumes of water into Townsville's suburbs.

Asked on Channel Seven's Sunrise whether the gates should have been opened earlier to prevent some of the flooding, Palaszczuk said: "That's a good question, you should direct that question to the Townsville city council, because they own that dam."

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