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Prince William meets Victoria flood victims

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Media captionThe prince praised all of those involved in rescue work during the floods

Prince William has met victims of the devastating floods which hit Victoria two months ago, on the last leg of his tour of New Zealand and Australia.

In Kerang, in the southern Australian state, he met emergency service leaders before visiting a farm which was left under water by January's deluge.

The prince told locals they had done "a marvellous job" to recover since then.

Earlier in the trip, he spent time with New Zealanders affected by last month's Christchurch earthquake.

The prince was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers in Kerang on Monday, before attending a briefing on the flood rescue work with Victoria state premier Ted Bailleau.

He then travelled by helicopter to a dairy farm in nearby Benjeroop, where the owners have only just been able to return.

William ended his day - and his three-day tour - with a barbecue in the small Murray River town of Murrabit.

'Smiles on faces'

On Sunday, the prince visited communities in the state of Queensland which were hit by their own floods, as well as Cyclone Yasi.

Around 30,000 homes and businesses were destroyed and 35 people died in the disasters.

Paul Pisasale, mayor of Ipswich - one of the worst-hit towns - told reporters: "He's been putting smiles on people's faces, he's really been reaching out to people."

At a fundraising event in Brisbane later on Sunday, Prince William praised all those involved in trying to save lives.

"As a search and rescue pilot myself, I am full of admiration for their courage and skill," he said. "Queenslanders are renowned for their true grit, for their resilience and courage.

"On behalf of the Queen, the Prince of Wales and other members of my family, I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to all in Australia who have lost family members and friends in these terrible natural disasters."

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was asked on Australia's Sky News if the country would be a republic by the time Prince William became King.

"It's not a debate at the forefront of our national conversations at the moment, but I believe it will return," she said.

"But I'm not going to make any date predictions on either the ascension to the throne of Prince William or the date of this nation becoming a republic," the prime minister added.

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