Heavy rains bring death toll to 6 along Australia's east coast


© ABC TV News

The death toll from heavy rains that inundated Australia's east coast has climbed to six, as flood warnings continued following a severe deluge that cut power to thousands of homes and isolated numerous communities.

The eastern states of Queensland and New South Wales faced a huge clean-up task ahead, but were forecast to experience easing conditions following two days of wild weather.

"Never before have we seen such a huge volume of rain drop in such a short period of time," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told broadcaster Channel Seven.

A six-year-old boy became the sixth storm victim when he was swept away by rough seas at a northern NSW beach.

The boy was walking along South Ballina beach with his father and older brother when he was pulled into the ocean by stormy waters, surf lifesavers said. Police said he was rescued by fishermen and flown to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Saturday the federal government would assist Queensland following the deadly storms.