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I don't want a medal - Flood hero's snub

A HERO of the Queensland floods has rejected a state medal for his efforts, demanding the Bligh Government help victims before handing out awards.

Spencer Lambert was to be presented with a medal at next month's Queensland Disaster Heroes ceremony at Brisbane's South Bank Parklands.

But the Yeronga resident, who was left with a $335,000 flood-damage bill, has turned down the distinction in protest over the lack of help for some flood victims.

Mr Lambert headed a round-the-clock salvage operation at his parent's flood-devastated home and worked tirelessly to return tenants back to a strip of flood-ravaged shops he owned.

``Here we have a ceremony costing huge amounts of money when there are still so many people in areas such as Goodna, Rocklea, Graceville and lots of other areas that haven't got any Gyprock on their walls,'' Mr Lambert said.

``Pensioners are living in houses using tarps as walls when we are just heading into winter. I don't believe that people who donated were under the impression that so little would have been distributed at this stage.''

Mr Lambert said he had been virtually wiped out after having an insurance claim refused and finding himself ineligible for access to donations under the Premier's Disaster Relief Fund because he was above the Government's $150,000-a-year income test cut-off.

He was able to access the Federal Government's $1000 one-off payment and State Government's $2000 emergency payment, but was ineligible for grants under round two and three of the scheme, which offered payments of up to $150,000 and $80,000 respectively.

In a letter to the State Government, Mr Lambert writes of his disappointment that people who had worked hard all their lives, paid taxes and employed people could miss out on help in times of need, when those who hadn't made the same contribution were provided aid.

Less than $95 million from the $265 million of appeal funds have been distributed.

Premier Anna Bligh urged Mr Lambert to accept his medal, saying ``he was nominated and he deserves the gratitude of the people of Queensland''.

Ms Bligh said the committee in charge would this week look at further tweaking the funding criteria.

The fund is registered as a charitable trust and for tax reasons, a means test must be applied to payments, she said.

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