Sunday 23rd of January 2022

once again, with feeling .....


once again, with feeling .....

He just cannot help himself. With half of eastern Australia a quagmire of endless heartbreak, with bodies still to be found, mourned and buried, there is Tony Abbott playing cheap politics yet again.

The government should abandon the $36 billion national broadband network and spend the money on reconstruction, he said on Tuesday. The network was "a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don't do is redo your bathroom when your roof has just been blown off.''

Actually, the one thing you don't do at times like this is expect any decent restraint or sensitivity from Abbott. He doesn't know the meaning of the words. Wielding the flood disaster as yet another stick to bash the government and the national broadband network is crass opportunism.

In coming months, as reconstruction gathers speed with the money flowing from Canberra, we can expect him and his Coalition sidekicks to bellyache incessantly about the wickedness of budget deficits and, at cross-purposes, the urgent need to build new dams.

His water spokesman, Barnaby Joyce, is already at it. ''A lot of the time the argument about dams is driven by a religious fervour about anything that interferes with nature,'' he blathered as the waters rose in Rockhampton and Toowoomba. This was "an argument against civilisation".

That would be the same Barnaby Joyce who, two years ago, called the plans for the Traveston Crossing Dam north of Brisbane "a multi-billion dollar debacle" and hailed Peter Garrett's eventual decision not to build it. Consistency is not his strong point.

Elsewhere, the government's minders must be close to panic about the Prime Minister's ever-more wooden TV appearances. Does she speak like that at home in the Lodge, I wonder? "Tim, let me just make the point here, if I may, that in terms of breakfast, like so many hardworking Australian families across this wonderful country of ours, obviously I myself enjoy Vegemite on my toast, and I would very much welcome it if you would reach out across the table and transition me the jar of that delicious spread."

Clearly, the poor woman has been subjected to an intensive bout of "media training", always a mistake. Media trainers are generally in that line of work because they bombed in the game themselves and scratch up a buck by passing on the secrets of their failures.

Julia, for Chrissake, stop trying to sound prime ministerial. Just relax and talk like the rest of us.

When is a flood not a flood? Answer: when an insurance company might have to pay out for damage from the torrent of water that has destroyed your home or business.

It comes as no surprise to learn that the spivs who infest the insurance trade are busily dudding and dumping thousands of wretched Queenslanders and others.

"Oh, that kind of flood," they say smoothly. "No, it's actually a riverine rising which is, of course, a very different thing, and if you look at page 267, clause 23b, of your policy ..."

Many people who thought they were covered for floods have now found they have lost everything. Smooth verbal assurances given when they took out their polices have amounted to nothing.

The splendid Anna Bligh should name and shame the guilty shonks.

Mike Carlton


NBN and Insurance Companies

I, and many, many Australian citizens,and I mean the numerous people I have spoken to over the last few days, and even months, "DON'T" want this NBN. Isn't Julia Gillard listening to the people?

Tony Abbott is right about not going ahead with this usless waste of money, and it should be spent on the flood victims, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.


How are these poor people supposed to rebuild their lives. Some Insurance companies won't pay up, so these families have mortgages still to pay off and some won't even have a home. There will be many people putting in for bankruptcy because they will be destitute.


I can't understand how the journalists act or how they don't have a heart sometimes.


Write about the waste of $500 million borrowed from the World Bank, to fund Secondary schools in Indonesia. Write about the $86,000 plus to process an Aslum Seeker and the useless NBN that we don't want.


No media or journalists are game to do this and it is sad that this is the case.


Flood victims know this. I worked for three days here in Brisbane cleaning up in the suburbs, and it was heartbreakin, tiring and emotional, and this didn't happen to me, so imagine how these poor people feel, when Julia won't put off this NBN and start help to rebuild their lives.


Yes, she has allowed money for them, but who can rebuild their home for the money they are receiving. Some families aren't entitled to it, and they have nothing, whilst the their are the rorters who are raking it in.


So, to all you journalists out their, talk to the ordinary person, the ones who aren't rich, the ones who just get by every day, like myself. Understand where where we are coming from


I am a divorced mother, I don't have much, but I gave away a lot of furniture for the people of Grantham, because I "CARE" .


I can buy it again, and I don't need new things, so let's all band together, and stop all the Political fighting and bashing, even if it is just for a few days. These people are hurting and don't need this.


Look after our own first, and don't give money to other countries for a long time. Rebuild our country towns and cities and peoples' lives first.


Thank you for reading this email.





the "fine-print"...


Thank you for your help to the clean up after the floods in Brisbane... It's important to care.

And we do CARE on this site with our eyes not just on the present damage but on the future of the planet and what we do to it, politcally and mechanically. And of course I disagree with you and "many other Australians" on the NBN. The National Broadband network and its value is totally unlinked to the floods and finding ways to finance the reconstruction. The value of the NBN is far greater than a Tony Abbott can imagine.

One thing is for sure, should we reconstruct in "flood-prone areas", even when floods are only a once in forty-years event, there is going to be some grief at some stage in the future. One thing for sure, with global warming (it's not a fallacy), there is increased humidity in the atmosphere. Between gripping droughts, events such as those which have flooded Brisbane and Victoria are likely to be more frequent and stronger.

I often look at a place call Murray-Bridge (South Australia?) that has two long bridges over a large flood plain on the forefront of the town and so far I believe nothing has been built on this area though it may have not flooded for eighty years... Smart.

There has been proposals to build more dams in Queensland to mitigate the "flood" waters, but even the Vivenhoe Dam that was supposed to avoid a repeat of the 1974 floods was overloaded to 190 per cent and, most likely due to the topography of the area with large "flood" plains, more dams could compound the problem rather that present a "permanent" solution to a succession of rain-loaded troughs and depressions.

Due to global warming (not a fallacy) the sea surface temperature on the east coast of Australia has been well above average for the past few years. presently it's about 27.5 degrees C from Brisbane to near Coffs Harbour, with offshore southward currents at near 29 degrees C and pockets at more than 31 degrees C. These temperature generate an enormous amount of evaporation which itself keeps the temperature down by at least one degree C. This moisture is then swallowed by troughs (low pressure fronts) and as temperature can drop quickly over land, massive clouds form and rain pours in a nearly continuously self-feeding mechanism till the trough moves away. Due to global warming (2010 was the second warmest year on record) most northern parts of Queensland did not have the usual winter "cool" and "dry". The wet warm winter meant that "normal" crops such as sugar cane, mangoes and the newest Jojoba crops (from South America, but now being established in Qld) were way way below yields. The wet meant that sugar cane grew too fast without making profitable "sugar" levels, and mango trees did not flower as it was too warm too wet.

Based on my insurance company, I believe the insurance companies would have made sure custumers were aware of certain proviso re-floods in flood-prone areas. Insurance companies might insure against a flooded kitchen should a fridge leak or a tap malfunction but I bet the maligned "fine-print" re river-flood is actually in normal-type and customers are made aware... Though after thirty something years one tend to feel assured... till the water comes in.

More to come about reconstruction and ways to avoid "repeat" of the 40-year predictable.

a sunburnt country...

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Gus: when I came to Australia forty years ago, one of the poems that I learned about this country was by Dorothea Mackellar. I had at the time (still have) the privilege of mixing with many literary people, some of whom then had met Henry Lawson and another who had correspondence with George Bernard Shaw. The poem gave an instant flavour of the place in which to expect the harsh reality of extremes... and the beauty.

Since, I have scientifically studied the progressive browning of this continent and followed very carefully the data in regard to global warming. I do not know everything but I have a good understanding of the TRENDS, locally and worldwide.

In regard to reconstruction, we need to take into account that floods in areas that were flooded by 100-years flood may be flooded again soon, within the end of the decade. There is this cattle station at the edge of the tanami desert that can be flooded for weeks. The farm itself is built on the highest ground there. The sheds can get a bit of water but the machinery stays dry. The airstrip stays dry but all around millions of acres of land are under water. Cattle find little islands next to trees to keep feeding. the snake invasion of the farm house is the only worry. millions of them crawling over each other.

Thus in my opinion, low lands should not be reconstructed unless one prepares for water to come back. The invention of the "Queenslander", the house on stilts was not done for decorative purposes. Built in dry plains, people know the water can come once in a while and the house stays dry, perched on the stilts. Of course when it's dry people start to store far too much under the house including cars and sometimes a little bedsit and the whole lot is washed away... The house stays dry. Thus reconstruction has to allow for "floods". Other ways to deal with this is to build light well-insulated houses on concrete floats, like in some lakes of Canada. Silly? Not as silly as getting flooded again. I remember the 1974 Brisbane floods that also swamped the Hawkesbury River too. The rain fell so much everywhere, Lake Eyre got five metres of water in it for a while... We sent a photographer to take shots of it...

Reconstruction? Well we can do what some people have done in New Orleans... Rebuild houses five feet higher than where they were, being aware that water rose six feet into their original house... There is a discrepancy of one foot and that worries me a little... Same again (which is likely) and they're flooded by one foot of water... This capers may leave insurance companies uneasy...

Note: In the comment above this one I mentioned the jojoba but I think I meant the Achacha fruit. Sorry.

meanwhile in brazil...

Officials in Brazil say more than 800 people are now known to have died in floods and landslides in the south-east of the country this month.

More than 400 people are still missing after torrential rain caused whole hillsides to collapse.

The Brazilian government has said it will set up an early warning system to alert communities of impending danger.

The flooding is considered the worst natural disaster Brazil has ever experienced.

Note: this happening while the Amazon basin has experienced its worst drought on record...

Note: of course (see comment ablove) the 1974 Brisbane floods did not flood the Hawkesbury River, but the same (or near) weather system did, in the same season... Sorry, sometimes I try to concentrate the info too much and I only used my memory of the events...

disasters are good?...

The Federal Opposition is intensifying its campaign against a flood levy to pay for the Queensland flood crisis.

The Government is still working out how to pay for its share of the rebuilding cost, while sticking to its commitment to return the budget to surplus in 18 months' time.

It is considering the idea of a flood levy and Prime Minister Julia Gillard is promising a decision "soon".

But Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey is urging the Government to focus on budget cuts, and his argument is two-fold.

He says a flood levy would cause economic grief for Australian households and that cutting spending on projects like the National Broadband Network and the school building program would help free-up tradesmen who could be better used in the flood recovery.

Mr Hockey says the disaster will be a major jobs creator.


Gus: The NBN does not employ THAT many people... Apart from a few diggers, the NBN employs skilled labour in that area of work. Its expense is in the material... Moving workers from the school programs would make everyone unhappy because the work that was started would not be completed, a situation for Joe and his mob to complain that labor never finishes anything... We know the tricks...

Before rebuilding too, one has to make sure the rebuilt isn't going to go back underwater in 10 years time...

carry-on regardless .....

Just as Keneally reneged on the deal to adopt a uniform set of occupational health and safety laws last year, if there are votes to be scored by having a crack at Canberra she will do so. For Gillard, Keneally will be a problem until March, then she will get a NSW Liberal government that has already flagged it will oppose her reform agenda priorities such as health and water.

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has made it known that he is only going to amplify his style of opposing everything to make life for the government as tough as possible. He plans to be prime minister by the end of this year without facing an election.

Abbott started fleshing out the plan on Friday when he said the independents who supported Labor in minority government would do well do start ''soul searching''. On Saturday, in a speech to the Young Liberals, he put the independents on notice. He said that if Gillard failed to achieve by the end of the year all the policy goals she had set, then the integrity of the independents would be equally damaged. Rest assured that however Gillard fares this year, Abbott will declare her government a failure.

Even if the intimidation tactic fails, at a minimum it aims to cause so much damage in the seats held by the independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor that they will fall to the Coalition next time.

Gillard's fraught year of clinging to power