Tuesday, 1 February 2011

How NOT to prepare for a Cyclone (or fidling while Yasi blows)

Guest blogger Mr Gee on political madness in Queensland:

"Despite the Premier issuing the following announcement yesterday she, and her band of ministerial keystone cops, are still pressing ahead with the preparation for community cabinet this weekend at Airlie beach, Bowen and Proserpine. (Not many of our esteemed Minister's staying at the 3 star motels in Proserpine with nearly all opting for the more prestigious digs at Airlie).

Ms Bligh said the extremely serious weather event now looked likely to cross the coast overnight on Wednesday and all residents should now be taking precautions, including stocking up on essential items.

"Latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology is that this cyclone will be accompanied by significant flood in low lying areas from storm surge," Ms Bligh said.

"Those residents in low lying and waterfront areas in the Innisfail to Mackay region should be making arrangements to relocate on Tuesday.

"Advice from the Weather Bureau is that coastal areas in Yasi's path will begin to experience wind gusts beyond 100km an hour early on Wednesday.

"So I implore all of those people who feel they may be facing a dangerous situation to leave their homes in plenty of time and relocate to friends and family.

"If you have family or friends on higher ground, go to them.

"I understand leaving your home will cause anxiety but I would rather people were inconvenienced for a couple of days than place themselves in dangerous situations.

So lets go through some of the impacts of this decision to proceed with the cabinet this weekend designed, no doubt, to shore up support for the sitting member Jan Jarrett and to send a message that it is "business as usual" for Government - despite Queensland suffering the most significant flooding ever seen and the imminent threat of the largest cyclone ever to hit North Queensland with the obvious risk to property and lives:

  • Many hotels and accommodation houses in the Whitsundays and Bowen are already evacuating residents because of the expectation of significant storm surges

  • Public servants in North Queensland should now be focusing on either assisting vulnerable clients and communities or taking steps to get their own family preparations underway (including evacuations as necessary) - not continuing to rewrite the "spin" for Minister's to quote at banal community meetings

  • Valuable resources such as Police and other essential senior regional government staff will be tied up in babysitting cabinet - rather than being available to provide assistance that will be needed elsewhere.

  • Our Directors-General should be in Brisbane coordinating what needs to be done to get through the latest crisis - again not providing high level babysitting and chaperoning of our politicians

This is political bloody mindedness - and it could cost some people their belongings - or worse - someones' life - by not being adequately prepared by having to cater to a Minister's latest "whim" for useless information."

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