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Queensland doesn't need an inquiry

Queensland Doesn’t Need an Inquiry
by Jay Somasundaram

As we move into recovery mode, there are increasing calls for a formal inquiry.

That is absolutely the worst thing to do. There is a very long road ahead. There is at least a year of urgent reconstruction. The flood season is far from over. The last thing we need is the politics and finger-pointing of an inquiry.

We have seen an extraordinary coming together of all of Queensland. This needs to continue. An inquiry will turn into a witch-hunt.. Genuine leaders will quietly fade back. People will go back into the mentality of not taking risks - not getting things done.

There are lessons to be learned. There are things we need to put right, such as investing much more in geo-engineering. His can be done without the bloodshed of an inquiry.

Sometimes an inquiry is necessary. There is a need to quickly and efficiently cut out dead wood so that the tree can sprout again. This is not the case with the flood response. Don’t get me wrong. I think there is still a lot of dead wood in the Queensland government (and opposition). But none of it was evident during the flood crisis, and an inquiry won’t help clean it out.

The opposition will want an inquiry. They have been forgotten, and armed with the benefit of hindsight, they can move centre-stage, as expert stone-throwers. It may help get them elected, The media will want it. There is nothing that sells newspapers like an old-fashioned Roman circus.

However, our priority is to rebuild Queensland. And amusing ourselves at a circus won’t help.


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$$$$ ???


Indonesia $ 458.7 million, Papua New Guinea $ 457.2 million, Solomon Islands $ 225.7 million, Afghanistan $ 123.1 million, Vietnam $ 119.8 million, Philippines $ 118.1 million, East Timor $ 102.7 million, Cambodia $ 64.2 million.

TOTAL = $ 1,669 million – to be given away in 52 weeks..but wait, there’s more!!!!!!!

Australia provides approximately 150,000 tonnes of food aid every year—about $65 million—to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Chad.
• In 2010-2011 the Australian Government plans to spend almost $4.4 billion on development assistance to under developed countries.

SO….. Ask your local Member how come 2011 Queensland flood victims get “$17 million so far”?

When insurers, such as Allianz and CGU, provide cover for storm damage but exclude flood from their home and contents policies. I suggest we exclude them them from our Shopping Lists ????

And now Gillard will give nearly $500 million for Indonesia’s Islamic schools which are largely moderate in outlook but there have been pockets of radicalism that have produced terrorists in Indonesia, most notably the cleric Abu Bakar Bashir’s school in Ngruki, central Java, where some of the Bali bombers studied

Stop the overseas aid now and divert those funds to Queensland. When Queensland has been rebuilt and back on its feet, then we can help build more Islamic schools overseas. And here's an idea- maybe we can also teach Abu Bakir's disciples to sing Kookaburra, Kumbayah, Watlzing Matidla etc.

Just the facts, Sir.

Hold on, Allan, we need to get the facts correct.. I don't know enough about foreign aid to comment, but some of your other statements need clarification.

1. One of the eight top recipients of Australian government aid is Australia itself. 

2. The $14 million you are quoting is above and beyond aid available to all citizens under normal government policy such as emergency welfare payments. Flood victims are getting a little more than a normal citizen gets after a less publicised personal disaster such as their house burning down. 

3. It does not make economic sense for people whose houses won't get flooded to buy flood insurance and thus subsidise those who may get flooded.

$ 1,669 million

Jay, As you say "I don't know enough about foreign aid to comment" it does not matter that you don't know anything about foreign aid, but surely you would have some idea what  $1,669 million would do for the people of Queensland and Victoria.

Perhaps the people of Indonesia and Afghanistan could stop buying arms and building mosques, and then we could stop giving them money for a year.

Perhaps we could also hold an inquiry into why a lot of this money does not get to the people that need it.


Alan, what you're saying is valid.  The argument that would be given against it would be the necessity of honouring UN agreements by successive governments, promising to bolster levels to higher GDP percents.  I guess a solution would be to subtract calculated flood losses, but you'd be lucky even then to scap back more than .05 of GDP.  As for the waste of aid funds.. remember when Downer used to brand Aidwatch as terrorists?   Once Cheney's Folk got the AUSAID subbie contract sure everyone got the basic idea ?

 Personally, I'm more interest and concerned how quiet my Qld Facebook contacts have been of late.  And am wondering (have witnessed post-Ash Wed 2 here) if the level of community shock is being seen at its true intensity and folks being gently treated for it?

M' lud!

Well, Anna Bligh has announced an enquiry.

From where I stand , the reasoning looks sober enough and obviously Quensland's ability to cope with tropical weather has by no means been perfected, as the latest big flood shows.

 But looking through a newspaper blogthread at this, I was amazed at the negativity directed back at the announcement. Suely all this complaint is way too defeatist and fatalist?

From the current situation you'd have to say even an enquiry can't make things worse and there is always a chance that people s minds, focussed, may turn over a better set of policies for future events, in the wake of the current floods..

Nothing will change

People in the Adelaide hills are stil building houses without tanks and have trees growing over their houses.

Human nature says "it won't happen to me".

Sometimes it is just a freak

Nothing could have prevented it. What on earth is the point of an inquiry/

It rained.

Full stop.

Pilgers view of Queensland.

Marilyn, have a look at what Pilger writes about Australia and Queensland http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27389.htm.

I cannot believe that he gets pain for writing such crap.

accurate crap

Alan, you might not like what Pilger wrote, and he's certainly partisanly selective in what he chooses to write out of all the things that might be said, but as far as I can see everything he wrote was factually correct.

He is a pain, but a voice we need to hear amongst the others. 

S*** happens

Marilyn Shepherd ,boat people came on leaky boats  nothing could have prevented it.

They sank.


Richard: Alan I get your point, but wonder whether inquiries into both the floods and the Christmas Island tragedy might uncover valuable information?

a hard rain gonna fall?

It follows the familiar pattern doesnt it, Jay?

You wrote the above with the Vic bushfires cabaret still at the back of your mind?

I would think from what I can gather, that both reconstruction and an enquiry will be necessary.The enquiry must be held quickly, in the open and without fear or favour, to establish guidelines if necessary for any component of the current system found wanting. Since the public had been apparently told Qld, esp the SE, had been floodproofed after previous events, the current mess was not supposed to happen in this way.


What went wrong and why?

So, without an enquiry delivering a new direction, the mistakes of the past might be repeated or not remedied, or faults duplicated.

So therefore there must also be a process of identifying where things went wrong this time, while the more obvious components of the clean up are commenced.

Jay, can I ask if you are a banana bender?

If so, has the thing affected you and are you ok, personally?

From where I am, it looks like there is a bit grief about at the mo.

What is truth?

Anna Bligh has been asked several times whether releasing Wivenhoe waters earlier would have reduced the worst of the flooding. She ducked.

The answer, of course, is a definite yes. If the dam had been emptied in early December, then much of the flooding could have been averted. But equally, an empty dam with no rain could have meant a water crisis.

I don't believe anyone in rural Australia believes nature-proofing is possible. Yes, we can reduce the harm mother nature causes, but it will never be zero. It is the nature of nature (sorry, can't help myself).

Rockhampton (where I live) has just recently refurbished its airports (eg introduced flashy user pays car parks). It may have been wiser to have spent the money on flood-proofing the airport. The Australian also carried seperate reports in the last few days, firstly that the design engineer for Towoonba's city centre warned that flash flood provisions were inadequate, and secondly that flood risks had been reported and ignored. So, there is plenty of ammunition.

Will an Inquiry get at the truth? What is truth? 

PS I live in Rockhampton, but was not harmed by the floods. 

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