Home > Economics - General > North Queensland secedes: Daily Mail

North Queensland secedes: Daily Mail

January 2nd, 2011
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  1. paul walter
    January 2nd, 2011 at 20:41 | #1

    This is the sort of thing that would only appeal to people like Queenslanders, apart from some Wastern Australians and the occasional Basque tourist.
    If you are all going to drown up there, can you do it bit more quietly, without using the floods as an excuse for yet more glarp about hoary old “secession”, please.

  2. paul walter
    January 2nd, 2011 at 20:47 | #2

    And yes, I know its a pommy murdoch newspaper. If it hadn’t been for Queeenslanders themselves, the poms wouldn’t haven’t even suspected the existence of “Capricornia”.
    for god’s sake get yourselves to some Aussie rules matches, so you can get “real”, you antisocial tropical isolationist seperatist troglodytes.

  3. Ikonoclast
    January 2nd, 2011 at 20:56 | #3

    Widespread flooding brings up the issue of the physical situation of these country towns. Clearly, the current sites are a legacy of 120 years or more of development. Now that we understand more about flooding with more years of records and much more data, we need to consider progressively re-siting these towns.

    Qld needs legislation mandating that all new development of residential, commercial and industrial land be sited above the 1 in a 100 years flood level (at least). Current residential property below say the 1 in a 50 years flood should be progressively bought up by the state at market value (with the owner’s consent). These lands should then be returned to permanent green belt status.

    Over time, we could lessen flood costs (human and financial) by migrating towns and suburbs above the 1 in a 100 years flood level and eventually even above the 1 in a 200 years flood level.

  4. Alice
    January 3rd, 2011 at 06:44 | #4

    Bligh says
    “Queensland Premier Anna Bligh warned that cleanup efforts were expected to cost billions of dollars.”
    Gee Anna to the rescue? (with a warning and a pittance?) Karmic payback for flogging QR rail?People up there apparently need clothes, food, water and basic furniture now Anna….so cough up some of the float money.

  5. Alice
    January 3rd, 2011 at 06:49 | #5

    Oh and hang on….Bligh says that cleanupo efforts were expected to cost “billions”
    Yet…’My concern is for the people in these very difficult times,’ Ms Gillard said.
    A day earlier, she pledged £645,000 in federal aid to match a relief fund already set up by the state government.

    Its going to cost “billions” but Bligh only tips in 645,000….to a relief fund and gets an equal amount from Gillard (making the total just over 1 mill).

    What were the proceeds for QR rail again?

    Is this Bligh’s New Orleans?

  6. no one
    January 3rd, 2011 at 16:21 | #6

    This is the third blog I’ve seen this fantastic story reported on. And the one with the least amusing comments. Didja even get it? Paul excepted 🙂

  7. m0nty
    January 3rd, 2011 at 16:40 | #7

    Anna Bligh doesn’t care about Capricornian people.

  8. Chris O’Neill
    January 3rd, 2011 at 16:53 | #8


    Widespread flooding brings up the issue of the physical situation of these country towns. Clearly, the current sites are a legacy of 120 years or more of development

    for example, Rockhampton’s flooded “Depot Hill”. Now there’s a real estate developer’s choice of name.

  9. paul walter
    January 3rd, 2011 at 18:24 | #9

    Twenty four hours on, I am actually a bit sorry I wrote the first couple of comments.
    This flood seems to be turning into something of biblical proportions.
    Victoria has bushfires; Queensland floods.

  10. Terangeree
    January 3rd, 2011 at 21:36 | #10

    And how many billions were spent on an unnecessary Woolloongabba-Bowen Hills road tunnel, and now are proposed to be spent on a near-parallel deep suburban railway tunnel?

  11. sam
    January 4th, 2011 at 00:43 | #11

    @paul walter
    I do wish you could have a bit more common empathy. People have died you know.

  12. paul walter
    January 4th, 2011 at 01:47 | #12

    Well Sam, that was the point I had made, I thought. One’s perceptions can change rapidly, from amusement to shock, as the true nature of a situation emerges.
    I thought that was what I had said, any way.
    Why not go back and read #9, then check your own empathy metre, you ass.

  13. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 06:29 | #13

    @paul walter
    Paul – being the truly empathetic person you are, you have been misprepresented at 11. I can think of many more with far lower empathy metres in here. What would the free market have to say about all those apparently irrational donations rolling in, in exchange for no good or service, now the total of nine times the combined federal and state government contrubutions to the disaster (and 18 times what Anna Bligh has promised).
    Boo hiss to insurance companies who decree a flood isnt a flood unless its accompanied by rain and clouds and thunder and lightening (now that is very very frightening).

  14. paul walter
    January 4th, 2011 at 06:34 | #14

    Oh Alice, and how many times have Australians watched, over decades, the insurance companies wriggling out of their obligations when an actual event happens.
    Would you like a dollar for every time you’ve has to sit back and behold this phenomena?

  15. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 06:51 | #15

    @paul walter
    Id be a rich woman by now Paul…but the fine print of an insurance contract can only be interpreted by a high court judge. So much for consumers not being mislead.

  16. Ron E Joggles
    January 4th, 2011 at 07:51 | #16

    I’m no fan of insurers, but this furphy crops up every wet season – if your property is located on a flood plain and is inundated by rising floodwaters, a predictable (actually, inevitable) event, why on Earth would you expect insurance cover? @Alice

  17. Sam
    January 4th, 2011 at 11:34 | #17

    @paul walter
    No need for a personal attack. Your comment at #9 wasn’t in my browser window at the time I replied to you. I was responding to your rather hateful #1 and 2. I honestly don’t see what my empathy has to do with anything.

  18. Ikonoclast
    January 4th, 2011 at 12:46 | #18

    I still think that the nexus between flooding towns and bad siting of towns needs to be looked at. Too many country towns have suburbs on flood plains next to rivers. We need to look at migrating such suburbs to higher land over time.

    The flood plain land can be returned to farming, grazing or green belt as suits local needs.

  19. paul walter
    January 4th, 2011 at 13:03 | #19

    Ok Sam, I accept your apology.
    The ABC lunch news commented about the economic damage done that will take years to undo and the fact that loss of life coud be heading toward double figures.
    Ikonoclast, logical planning laws?
    Armageddon itself wouldn’t shift bureaucrats and politicians on this, if history is to be used for any indication.

  20. Jarrah
    January 4th, 2011 at 13:21 | #20

    “Over time, we could lessen flood costs (human and financial) by migrating towns and suburbs above the 1 in a 100 years flood level and eventually even above the 1 in a 200 years flood level.”

    Sure. But what about the human and financial costs of migrating towns and suburbs?

  21. Sam
    January 4th, 2011 at 13:44 | #21

    @paul walter
    By the way, what’s the conversion between SI metres and “empathy metres?”

  22. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:41 | #22

    Sam – get over it. You accused Paul of having no empathy. You were wrong. Just apologise and be done with it.

  23. paul walter
    January 4th, 2011 at 19:45 | #23

    God bless you, Alice.
    Sam, the conversion rate between SI metres and empathy metres is of course determined by the functionalty of an IM (Irony meter).

  24. Alice
    January 4th, 2011 at 20:35 | #24

    @Ron E Joggles
    Ron E
    Just because they get away with it doesnt mean its right. Your home might be on a flood plain. In Australia many homes are likely to be on a flood plain being farmers etc (flood plains also usually happen to be rich soil). We pay insurers to take risks. We pay monthly and regularly. They are supposed to assess the risks. The flood plain may flood every five years or every ten or every twenty. If your house isnt built on stilts the insurer will charge you more…

    but to evade the risks completely with very obscure policy docments is the modus operandi from insurers (eg there has to be recorded thunder at the time if water inundation…and you must record it and prove it!!). If Insurers were clear and upfront about what they will and wont pay – there wouldnt be any problems – but when they are as obscure as they can possibly be at the time you take out an insurance contract…there is cause for concern.

    We do pay them to take trhe risks. It is up to them to determine and price the risks (not weasel out later).

  25. sam
    January 4th, 2011 at 23:44 | #25

    Don’t be absurd. Paul’s first two comments did lack empathy, and I was right to call him on it. He must agree, or he wouldn’t have reversed his position at #9. He subsequently insulted me personally -not a position I hold, but me as an individual- and then falsely claimed that i had apologized. Such behaviour is uncivilised.

    Paul, there was no irony intended on your part. It was a simple misspelling. I corrected you. You’re welcome.

  26. paul walter
    January 5th, 2011 at 03:56 | #26

    You are a complete dill , Sam.
    The reason I wrote the third post, was because in view of what I’d seen on the news, etc, it was clear ( from here in SA), that I had misunderstood the severity of these floods.
    THAT’S when I wrote the third post, you flatter yourself that you think you would have been the reason for my reply.
    for a THIRD time, re read thepost I sent observing that I had underestimated the Queensland prob.
    God- some people are duffers. my comment was up hours BEFORE you commented.
    What do you think I am?
    A time f—g lord??

  27. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 04:49 | #27

    Sam – you completely missed the irony (completely……) and facts is facts.

  28. Sam
    January 5th, 2011 at 12:27 | #28

    Again with the personal attacks.

    I didn’t say I was the cause of you changing your mind. I am familiar with the laws of causality. Read my comment more carefully. All I said was I was right to criticise you on the basis of your first two comments. Also, I said you must agree with this because you changed your mind in #9. Also, as I already explained, my browser window hadn’t updated to include your #9 at the time I made my comment. None of this requires the services of the good doctor or his TARDIS.

    I am glad you changed your mind on the severity of these floods. Better late than never I suppose. I think that any flood which makes the global news and necessitates the evacuation of whole towns (information which was available in the original blog post) is too severe to joke about. I still think you lack natural empathy. Coming from the region as I do, and having lost a reasonably good friend to drowning in a flood not so many years ago as I have, I hope you can see why I don’t react well to someone jeering and name-calling at a time like this.

    Alice, if there is irony to be missed, I am still missing it. Could you explain it to me?

  29. paul walter
    January 5th, 2011 at 17:07 | #29

    Was just watching Rockhampton on the news, the sheer scale of it is phenomenal. I see how you must be ragged, living on top of it, although am disappointed that people think I would find it was amusing, once the full story was known or realised.
    I couldn’t beleive how the Vic bushfire morphed from a threat into a disaster and this disaster has similar resonances.
    As for Queensland, well, we know you lot corner the market up there as to heavy rain and flooding. If we got just a fraction of that water on a regular basis, things would be different down here where I come and for most of the rest of the country also.
    Just know that I don’t feel it is amusing, it is a disaster and the time spent on recovery will be painful and long, for many people.
    All the best for the future, Sam.

  30. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:26 | #30

    You may have been right on the first twi comments but Paul explained himself and you could have been far more gracious…but you persisted with the reprimands leading Paul to say WTF.

    Now I say WTF. Beacuse if you knew Paul like I know Paul you wouldnt even have wasted your breath on the first negative comment Sam. Paul is a lovely guy. You have made a mistake so just be gracious and accept it…and he was being ironic which you completely missed…re read comment one Sam ..the irony is there.

  31. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:33 | #31

    Sam – you have it totally wrong about Paul lacking natural empathy…really. If you come from the regions being flooded …you have nothing to worry about Pauls empathy. Lets face – even JQs post title could be miscontrued as unempathetic – yet the Prof is one of the most empathetic persons ever. It mentions secession. Paul was sommenting on that….
    I wouldnt mind, personally if we all seceded from both Labor and liberal (and bloody useless governments who do zip in general except consort with big business and flog the family silver and sign up to free trade agreements that do nothing but strangle local production …I better stop there). but that doesnt mean I have no empathy.

    I have lots of empathy and so does Paul.

  32. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:35 | #32

    should be ‘commenting’ – above

  33. glmmph
    January 5th, 2011 at 20:48 | #33

    Well, jeez, kiddies, I’m a Capricornian and I can only marvel at the prescience of the Daily Mail. I got done over by a cyclone last year (the roof still leaks…) and yes, the floods are serious, but in hundred years time when our kiddies kiddies kiddies are celebrating the Battle of the Whitsunday Passage, a ham fisted attempt to retake Hamilton Is, they will fondly remember the second mutinous uprising against Bligh and how she was doomed to float off into oblivion on a foundering QR locomotive.

  34. paul walter
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:00 | #34

    No Alice, I’m a typical Aussie, in that I can easily cocooon myself from the sort of experience that Sam is apparently experiencing.
    Adelaide is a blessed place when it comes to disasters, the worst we suffer are things like localised flooding and even the bushfires aren’t as severe as Victorias.
    I share the generalised myopia of Australians toward the global poor, for example. I do a bit better than just “breeding” as the root cause of their problems; we both know what really goes toward the mess that billions of poor people are in, but the closest I come to, say, a boat person’s adversity would be an uncomfortable meeting with social security . Many Australians (unless they are aborigines) are generations out from a direct experience of the misery much of the rest of the world suffers under.
    Alice, you have been generous beyond words, but beleive me, your view of me would change if you were ever to see the view from inside my head, sometimes.
    YOU, I respect.
    You hold down a responsible job and seem to have been a great parent and probably a brilliant wife and friend, I love your Aussie spirit.
    But you should not conclude from your own accomplishments that people like me apply the same zest and diligence to life as real Aussies like yourself.

  35. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:04 | #35

    Better she floats off on a doomed QR train (but we really know she will be on a private board or in a private bank dont we?) than QLD is stuck in perpetual mutiny. The woman is living up to her name of being the most hated Qlder, just like the other Bligh in NSW.
    (Blight more like it).

  36. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:20 | #36

    @paul walter

    Hey Paul – no you dont cocoon that easily…we all do (cocoon). How many things do we try not to think about? Cant think about everything or madness isnt far away..cocoons help.

    I do think about fairness and I do see it slipping away in Australia and I do see most people I know feeling somewhat disconnected from our governments and the direction they are taking (cognitive dissonance or buyers remorse..no matter what party).

    Why so? The only reason I can think of is too horrible to contemplate…that politics is a mere puppet show for the brief entertainment of the masses…that those with power groom and promote individuals they like, in politics.

    Am I cynical? Maybe.

    It happens in legal jobs that only boys from Trinity with all the right credentials, get the top jobs…

    Well if I am not cynical, and it is truly hopeless, then watch out carefully for well groomed Greens that start talking “market models” and “user pays” and “lower taxes”.

    When they arrive, you know we are being had.

  37. glmmph
    January 5th, 2011 at 21:44 | #37

    You’re probably right, Alice, but I think Bligh’s biggest problem is that she’s Labor. Now, if she was from that strange amalgam of the other side (run by a dentist of course) and she had just pulled off the latest heist, why, up here, we’d vote for her in droves, even if it was against our better interest. But, well, she’s a socialist, see, so we’re just going to have to secede.

  38. Alice
    January 5th, 2011 at 22:11 | #38

    glmmph – may as well hurry up and secede. Im all for it. If you think Bligh is bad (and she really really is) after the dentist is through with you…you will wish you had pulled your own teeth out.

    Seceding is the most effective option you have.

  39. Ken Fabos
    January 6th, 2011 at 09:58 | #39

    Floods in Australia are no fun but, without wanting to discount the real anguish the loss of valued possessions and economic production produce the aftermath of Pakistan’s floods goes on deeply damaging the lives of millions in ways most Capricornians can barely imagine and does so unmentioned. Our parochial perspective that inflates the importance local events leads to real tragedies of enormous scale being trivialised.

  40. Ikonoclast
    January 6th, 2011 at 11:09 | #40

    Jarrah :@Ikonoclast “Over time, we could lessen flood costs (human and financial) by migrating towns and suburbs above the 1 in a 100 years flood level and eventually even above the 1 in a 200 years flood level.”
    Sure. But what about the human and financial costs of migrating towns and suburbs?

    Dont forget the human and financial costs of NOT migrating these towns to higher ground. Personally, I’d rather have the govt buy my flood-prone house (if I had one) at market price and then have the govt facilitate suburb construction on flood-free land where I could re-locate. This business of persisting with towns and suburbs in areas that get 1 in 100 year floods or worse is just plain town planning stupidity.

  41. Ikonoclast
    January 6th, 2011 at 11:15 | #41

    PS. I notice everybody arguing back and forth and nobody taking notice of the fundamental point that building and/or maintaining towns on flood plains is the root cause of most flooding problems.

  42. Sam
    January 6th, 2011 at 11:41 | #42

    @paul walter
    I shouldn’t have made it personal, thank you for the sentiment. One good effect of all this flooding is the windfall for the Murray Darling river system, which hopefully will help solve some of Adelaide’s water problems. You’re welcome to more than a fraction of the water we have.

    Alice, I think all has been said that needs to be said. I’d like to leave it here.

  43. paul walter
    January 6th, 2011 at 13:12 | #43

    Hi Sam, just looking at the rainfall stats and note another heavy dump of rain just in the last day.
    Looking at Brissie and Rockhampton, you’ve had dumped in a month, the equivalent of my town’s annual rainfall, over twenty inches
    Just looking at a big barra Mark Taylor caught up in that part of the world and he’s using the same terminology, describing the rain “dump” as “phenomenal”.

  44. Sam
    January 9th, 2011 at 10:30 | #44

    Yes indeed, and it just doesn’t stop!

  45. Michael
    January 9th, 2011 at 21:24 | #45


    On the other hand, maybe its just as well that she did sell QR freight when she did – what would she use to rebuild the busted infrastructure otherwise (particularly the rail and road infrastructure)?

  46. el mono
    January 10th, 2011 at 00:55 | #46

    Alice, the free marketers should have no problem with private charity. In fact they would agrue that private charity is far more effective than state aid. Seems somewhat naive, but then i think it can be naive to assume the government will do a better job in providing the money needed.

    I think the big case for government in times of disaster is the work of the Army and emergency services which i don’t think could be replicated by private organisations.

    In terms of our parochial response to disasters, i have found it interesting that friends in the philippines have commented that our floods jave made the news there. Floods which kill hundreds of people seem to be a yearly occurence in the Philippines.

  47. Alice
    January 10th, 2011 at 07:25 | #47

    Its called Debt – Government Debt Michael.

    Thats how governments have traditionally funded infrastructure.

    As for maintaining it – thats called Tax and it should have been happening but instead Governments have been taking orders from Moody’s and Standard and Poors and idiot US banks and have been obsessed (Capital O obsessed) with running surplus budgets year after year. So obsessed that they have sold almost every income generating asset we actually owned AND shifted their responsibilities for infrastructure creation and maintenance to the private sector in the form of PPS (often ridiculously expensive and full of scorpio sting legal actions against governments if they work at all) and higher user pays everywhere on households.

    Incredibly inefficiently…. and causing household debt to go through the ceiling (surprise surprise – our government is actually more of a burden on households now than at any time in history through their policies of shifting costs to us).

    The greatest swindle and debt shift of all time.

    If I was an accountant Id suggest our governments (both sides) are the worst fiscal managers in the entire history of Australia.

  48. Alice
    January 10th, 2011 at 07:29 | #48

    Michael – let me know when Bligh rebuilds the busted infrastructure and what with, now that she has sold QR rail.
    Its time Bligh got up and admitted – she isnt up to the job.

  49. paul walter
    January 10th, 2011 at 22:00 | #49

    The Toowoomba stuff tonight was dramatic, you wonder what the eventual bill will be particularly as the north of NSW looks in trouble too. And lots more La Nina big wet on the way.
    Meanwhile Perth, which has been sweltering for weeks, is fighting bushfires.

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