Saturday, 29 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
The two men, who were already in custody for other charges relating to the incident, are 36 and 28-years-old, both from Edmonton, south of Cairns.
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Prime Minister Gillard also agreed today to pay $2 billion immediately to Queensland to start the rebuilding, an acknowledgement that the State's coffers are depleted after 10 years of mis-management - and around $80 billion owed.
"As a nation we have come together in the past to help out the milk industry, the sugar industry, the workers of Ansett and to buy back guns after the Port Arthur tragedy," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said. "I think the people of Queensland are at least as important as all of those other levies in the past. Australia will benefit from getting Queensland's key industries like agriculture and mining back on their feet.''
''The prime minister had got the levy badly wrong,'' State Opposition Leader, LNP's John-Paul Langbroek said in response. ''It was unfair that people who had been indirectly affected should have to help foot the bill. The government should be able to fund the rebuild another way. We've got our whole tourism industry that's basically had a very, very difficult season. We've got truck drivers, we've got people who work in the cities who've been unable to access their offices. All of these people are now going to have to pay a levy.''
State Treasurer Andrew Fraser says he still doesn't know the total bill.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Ten residents have been recognised for their exceptional contribution at an Australia Day ceremony at the Cairns Civic Theatre. The awards were selected from a panel of Mayor Val Schier and some Councillors after nominations from the public.
Seth Fourmile of Gimuy Walabara Yidinji, extended a 'Welcome To Country' followed by the national anthem. The event also welcomed sixty new Australian citizens, from 27 countries.
Citizen of the Year –
Mentor of performing artists and creator of a distinct brand of music; co founder of People Advocating for Live Music (PALM); Vice president of the Hamilton State Primary School and Manager of the Queensland Junior in-line hockey team.
Special Commendation (Culture Award for the Arts)
Lone White – ceramicist and regional arts advocate; representative of the Anti-Discrimination League and coordinator of the Cairns Sister Cities Exhibition
James WatsonVolunteer of the Year
– past Treasurer and President of the Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre; Community Veggie Garden carer; Senior Scoop reporter and Treasurer of Douglas Shire Seniors Incorporated; member of Toastmasters, Port Douglas Rotary and Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society.
- Captain of the Manunda Hawks AFL undefeated premiership team; team member of Cricket Far North under 19 Rep Team and North Queensland Country Under 19 Rep Team
I wandered down to the Australia day bash on the beachfront at Yorkeys. There was a line longer than a Timorese boat-load, queuing up for the free breakfast.
Around 9pm, police were called to a dispute in Hartill Street where a man was discovered acting in a threatening manner towards occupants and the police.
A report is being prepared for the coroner and the investigation will be overseen by the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
It's screaming out for a caption or two. As always, I'll start the llama spitting...
- "At last, someone who really understands me!"
- "Are you telling me, I should have dressed like this and it would have got the attention of the Cairns Post?"
- "This post-election job as ABC's roaming wildlife commentator is really not that different to my last job: some of them spit at me, others can't understand a word, and I can make all kinds of nice promises and they really don't know any difference."
- "Actually, with a steady diet of cheese burgers and coke, this one would resemble Warren Entch in no time."
- "So you once used to be a member of parliament, did you? I hear it's not that different to me. I shit wherever I like; do what I want; expect to get fed and watered; and really don't have to do anything for a few years. Not a bad ticket, if you know what I mean."
- "..................your turn ......................"
Monday, 24 January 2011
Cairns Police have named a man found dead at his Frankston Street, Kewarra Beach home as 44-year-old Gregory John Elms.
It's believed that the man may have died up to a week earlier before being discovered by neighbours. A major incident room has been set up and the investigation has been named "Operation Juliet-Memphis."
WHY? Because of their misunderstanding of why former Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelkie Peterson built the Wivenhoe dam in response to the 1974 flood.
"The Wivenhoe was held to 190% of capacity because of the 'Anna Bligh syndrome'," Rob Williams says.
Here's the rationale...
- The flood in Brisbane was avoidable if the original operating systems of Somerset and Wivenhoe dams were used.
- When Sir Joh., started building Wivenhoe Dam in 1975 it was designed to be a flood mitigation dam, not a water storage dam as it used under the present operating regime as introduced by the Labor Party.
- As a result of the Labor mismanagement of Lake Wivenhoe, thousands of homes and businesses flooded.
- How the original operating system was to work as designed was: Somerset to be the water supply dam for Brisbane on the Brisbane river, Wivenhoe to be the FLOOD MITIGATION dam below Somerset on the Brisbane River.
- Wivenhoe was not supposed to fill more than about 40%.
- When Somerset was filled by a non flood event 20% of its volume was to be released and held at Wivenhoe for consumption in Brisbane.
- If a food event happened above Somerset (as it did), whilst that 20% at Somerset was filling, Wivenhoe would release the water that was released from Somerset at a rate that did not flood Brisbane.
- When Somerset overflowed, Wivenhoe would collect that water which could then be released at a rate that did not flood Brisbane.
- The filling of the 20% of Somerset by the flood means that Somerset held a volume of water of that flood event equivalent to the holding of 20% of the capacity of Somerset.
- Under the new operating regime were Wivenhoe was used as a WATER STORAGE dam both Somerset and Wivenhoe were 100% full before the flood event in the Brisbane River Valley.
- Wivenhoe filled to 190% of its capacity.
- If you do the maths under the operating regime as Joh had it designed, to prevent a flood in Brisbane, Somerset’s 20% flood mitigation capacity plus another 70% of the flood event to be held at Wivenhoe.
- As Wivenhoe would have been only 40% full when the flood event started.
- This meant that under the original operating regime as designed, Wivenhoe would have reached 110% full which is very manageable in its design.
- The flood waters held in Wivenhoe could then be released at a rate that did not flood Brisbane. As a flood mitigation dam, water would be released until it was once again 40% full.
- Releases from Wivenhoe would be timed so as to reach Brisbane as the tide is going out and to be a maximum just before low tide and as the tide comes in the flow to be reduced.
- A new water supply dam and a flood mitigation dam below it needs to be built on the Bramer River which would protect Ipswich from flooding but this won't happen as Labor and it's coalition partner, the Greens hate dams.
- During the Bjelkie Peterson era, 60 Dam sites were identified, 30 had the land mass acquired and owned by the Government.
- The Labor Party sold off 30 sites and built nothing!
- There have been no dams or flood mitigation construction since Joh left office!
This follows the discovery of human remains at Murphy’s Creek on Saturday evening and Lowood yesterday. Detectives and forensic specialists are currently investigating on behalf of the Coroner. The thorough search for people missing from the Lockyer Valley is ongoing.
To date 35 people have died as a result of flood-related incidents that have occurred in Queensland since November 30, 2010.
"Those worst hit need the most help," Anna Bligh says. This means that a substantial number, probably well over 50% at some estimates, will not receive any financial help from the Government. This is after the initial $4000 from Centrelink and the Disaster Relief Appeal fund.
"The payments were modeled on State-Federal arrangements and were to ensure the 'neediest get the most'," Bligh said.
"[She's] got her means test policy badly wrong," John-Paul Langbroek of the opposition says. "The Premier needed to recognise that her $48,400 cut-off was simply too low. Queenslanders need flood assistance grants they can access now."
Langbroek says most families won’t qualify because the income limit is too low. Most households have joint incomes above $49,000.
“The sentiment from Queenslanders and Australians is that we should be helping these people. But with reports indicating up to 60% will not be covered by insurance and have lost everything, the Premier needs to significantly raise the cut-off level for household income," Langbroek says. “In these extraordinary circumstances we should try to help as many people as we can and I suggest the joint-income cut-off should be at least $100,000."
“Let’s get on with helping those people by having grants that are available to most families. Unfair restrictions only serve to upset families who already have enough stress in their lives," John-Paul Langbroek said. “These families have houses they can’t live in …their furniture and most of their belongings have been ruined and now they’re probably paying rent on top of a mortgage. In fact, in some cases, the mortgage may well be higher than the value of the home."
Flooding is on our mind at the moment. Just look at what the Barron Falls are up to at the moment.
Drabble claims that climate change advocates will admit that area will be under water within 30 years.
“If the mayor is such a believer in climate change then she is hypocritical if she allows the building and development of areas that are less than five feet above sea level at present or in a flood plain,” Paul Drabble says.
He asks if Council will be reviewing the possible flood-prone areas and upgrading the approval system to not allow houses to be built in areas of great danger. This is one of the serious questions that Brisbane residents now face, and it will be interesting to see the cat fight between insurance assessors and local South East Queensland Councils that have, since the massive and larger 1974 floods, subsequently approved substantial residential and commercial construction in known flood areas.
Over recent years, more and more development has occurred closer to waterways, often breaching the minimum requirements of the riparian corridor. This can be seen no more clearly than at Clifton Beach, alongside Deadman’s Creek. cairns Council was asked retrospectively to allow construction, then permitted the developer to dig the natural river and line it with cement. This atrocity can be seen from the Captain Cook Highway, just to the south of the BP service station. It was a disgrace for such an approval. There’s nothing more certain than another flood at this site.
So it's a good question if flood mapping for Cairns is up-to-date and takes in future possible rain events of greater than 100 year proportions.
“Has this map had large tidal variances added that could also impact on and adversely cause major issues with infrastructure as well as he lifestyles of the cairns population?” Paul Drabble asks. “Has Council investigated flood prevention measures for the Cairns airport, with maybe the use of levy banks to protect this major piece of infrastructure?”
The Cairns airport, now flogged off to a private owner after the State Government needed some dollars to pay the interest on the $80 billion State debt, it’s likely Council would not become party to such flood mitigation work.
What about the positioning of new water and waste infrastructure, taking into account possible flood inundation? The Northern Beaches site is not far from the low-lying Catanna Wetlands, would have to be a contender for serious flooding. Has the Queensland State Government done flood prediction mapping for the site of new hospital services on Edmonton’s Mann's farm?
Paul Drabble says there are many questions the residents of Cairns, who already live in flood-prone areas, are going to ask. These areas with the effect of climate change will greatly increase if the science is proven to be correct, which only time will prove.
So just what is our Council doing today to ensure this region does not fall victim to a similar fate that the South Queensland has endured? Is our river hydrology that different? Are we immune?
Division 3 Councillor Rob Pyne says everything approved has to be Q100 complainant. This was most certainly not the case when just over a year ago, a majority of Councillors ignored expert recommendations, including their own officer’s report, and gave the green light to the first large-scale commercial development on the Barron River Delta – at extensive flood plain immediately north of Cairns city, that covers 20 sq kilometers - that has forever been reserved as agriculture land. The waterpark approval has set a dangerous precedent.
I've written extensively about the history and hydrology of the mighty Barron River on CairnsBlog, especially in terms of the surrounding delta. Local sugar cane farmer and former Mulgrave Shire Councillor, Ross Parisi, has also been a regular commentator about the Barron River. He has seen first hand over the last 40 years, how the river changes course and takes control of the land. Parisi was a staunch advocate to cease any commercial development on the delta.
There are also questions on the south of Cairns. Councillor Robert Pyne says the planned hospital construction near Edmonton, Council does not have power to compel the State.
“Residents can search Council records before purchasing a property to see if it will flood,” Cr Pyne says. “Many properties in the old city areas do flood, indeed the first king tide of the year was just last Thursday at 9:30am and if there was very heavy rainfall at this time, you should see some minor flooding in the city.”
Pyne says that flood immunity in South Cairns is actually very good and that Brisbane will experience flooding again, and so will Cairns. He also defends the mayor to hold views different to others.
“Val [Schier] is just one vote on Council and in any event, at least on this issue, she is one of the Councillors who is 'living in the real world' and not suggesting any 'less stringent' requirements for short term economic benefit,” Rob Pyne says. “I will not name those who proposed a 'Q50 standard' for Cairns, suffice to say such approach would be inconsistent with anyone who wants to be seriously considered for the position Val currently holds.”
Schier says Council has plentiful information about cyclone, disaster management and planning, including flood and storm surge maps, and says that Cairns Regional Council has recently been acknowledged by the United Nations as one of the world’s leading cities in its disaster planning.
“You [residents] can be assured that storm and tidal surges, and the impact of climate change will be taken into account with any waterfront planning and that we will not be constructing anything that is likely to be ‘underwater in 30 years’ as you inaccurately suggest,” Val Schier says.
Val Schier says that one of the early decisions this current Council made in 2008 was to refuse a 400 lot subdivision at Bramston Beach.
"This was on low-lying ground and might have been a burden on future ratepayers in the region if allowed to proceed," Val Schier said last week. " Unfortunately, my views did not prevail when the decision was made to approve the [Freebody waterpark] development on the flood-prone Barron River delta, and I hope this decision does not come back to have an adverse impact on Council at some time in the future."
Cairns Local Disaster Coordination Centre 4044 3377
Barlow Park 4051 9701
State Emergency Service (Cairns SES) 132 500
The flow in Rex Creek, with forms the current water supply, is now not sufficient to meet local demands, especially during extended dry periods. In fact, water flows in Rex Creek were very close to drying up in late 2009 and restrictions were instituted to slow usage. There were even emergency measures on standby if needed.
Cairns Regional Mayor Val Schier says it's extremely important that Rex Creek retains sufficient water flow to ensure a healthy environment.
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Saturday, 22 January 2011
While plenty of Labor MPs are keen to blame the media, especially The Australian, they also privately acknowledge that the Government in general and Gillard in particular, have seemed curiously adrift for months.
CairnsBlog cartoonist Robbie Williams says the red head has been adrift for years, and probably lost in the Timor Sea.
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Monday, 17 January 2011
Sunday, 16 January 2011
16 people have died as a result of the floods in south east Queensland, however there are still around 28 people missing.
"The devastation of the disaster that has struck is no more apparent than when it claims a life,"
the Queensland Police Service said late last evening when releasing the names of those killed. "The thorough search for people missing from the Lockyer Valley is ongoing, but will take some time given the scale of the area."
Last night's Taipans game in Cairns raised $28,600 for the flood appeal.
- LISTEN Flood update from Deputy Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart
- or DOWNLOAD MP3
The following people are confirmed as deceased:
Donna Marie RICE
10/01/2011: Swept from roof of car with son at intersection of James St and Kitchener St.,Toowoomba
Male child, 13 years
10/01/2011: Swept from roof of car with mother at intersection of James St and Kitchener St., Toowoomba
Next of Kin to be advised - name known, 56 years, male
10/01/2011: Trapped in house with wife by rising water at Spring Bluff (Murphys Creek). House damaged and deceased washed out. Wife also deceased.
Next of Kin to be advised - name known, 46 years, female
10/01/2011: Trapped in house with husband by rising water at Spring Bluff (Murphys Creek). House damaged and deceased washed out. Husband also deceased.
10/01/2011: Rural Fire Brigade Truck (Fire Truck 51) which became inundated while on the Gatton Helidon Rd. Two occupants escaped to safety, three (mother and two children) trapped inside and were later located deceased in the vehicle.
Female child, 5 years
10/01/2011: Rural Fire Brigade Truck (Fire Truck 51) which became inundated while on the Gatton Helidon Rd. Two occupants escaped to safety, three trapped inside(with mother & brother) and were later located deceased in the vehicle.
Male child, 12 years
10/01/2011: Rural Fire Brigade Truck (Fire Truck 51) which became inundated while on the Gatton Helidon Rd. Two occupants escaped to safety, three trapped inside (with mother & sister) and were later located deceased in the vehicle.
10/01/2011: Trapped within residence due to rising water. Located deceased within residence.
Pauline Lesley MAGNER
11/01/2011: Located on creek bank near Sawmill in Gatton.
Male child, 4 years
11/01/2011: Child lost during attempted rescue at Marburg. Deceased swept away by floodwater along the Lowood Minden Road.
Next of Kin to be advised - name known, 66 years, male
10/01/2011:The deceased was located on 12/01/2011 in a room of his dwelling.
Selwyn Hector SCHEFE
10/01/2011: Residence swept away. Located deceased on 13/01/2011.
13/01/2011: Located in open paddock near Grantham. Not yet positively identified.
Robert John KELLY
12/01/2011: Located in Grey Toyota Landcruiser upside down in Myall Creek Dalby.
14/01/2011: Located by SES searchers at Grantham.
Van Toan GIANG
13/01/2011. The MP has driven to Durack to check on a family property. A friend saw him walk about a 50 meters into moderately flowing water across Bowhill Road and where he disappeared into the water and not re-surface. His body has since been recovered.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Police say that the flooding is likely to worsen over the next few days.
At around 4pm, two hours after Police issued the message to curtail such reporting, NewsLTD changed the headline to read "City under water." Still bullshit.
As at 11 January 2011, including Toowoomba's death toll, there have been 26 deaths attributed to the floods.
Meanwhile, a pastor says that Kevin Rudd is to blame for the floods because he "spoke against Israel" in December last year. Daniel Nalliah from Catch the Fire Ministries says "it is very interesting that Kevin Rudd is from Queensland. Is God trying to get our attention? I believe so." Whilst in Israel Rudd asked the Jewish state to allow international inspectors into nuclear facilities.