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New flooded area in Australia

Jan. 29, 2011 at 1:57 AM

MELBOURNE, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The waters continued to rise slowly Friday in southeastern Australia as Prime Minister Julia Gillard toured a flood-stricken town.

Gillard promised the state of Victoria would get its fair share of flood-relief money, the Bendigo Advertiser reported.

"I don't want townships to be struggling longer than they need to with any infrastructure issues,'' she said. "The reality of it is we can't rebuild everything at once, so we're going to have to set some priorities but I want those priorities to be done on a needs basis."

Victoria is the latest Australian state to cope with flooding. Floods were especially devastating in Queensland, hundreds of miles to the north.

In Swan Hill, Gillard spent time with soldiers who had been helping erect flood defenses, The Australian said.

"It is a startling sight, the amount of water that is here," Gillard said.

The Murray River is expected to crest at Swan Hill early next week at slightly over major flood stage. The floodwaters will reach towns to the north next week.

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