You are here

Royal Commission needed over developers' power and planning


Lord Mayor Quinn said it would have been irresponsible to go public with alarming findings which were subject to further analysis, provided the results of a new study showing that the probable levels in a one-in-100-year flood had reduced to normal.

Despite warnings by scientific and engineering experts in 1999, successive Labor-dominated Brisbane councils and Queensland Labor governments worked to reject and bury recommendations for sweeping changes in planning, emergency relief and transparency when true flood levels for Brisbane were revealed in the aftermath of the record 1974 floods.

As a minimum, developers and residents need to be advised of the actual flood risk on their property, the study found. The engineers and hydrologists involved in the study warned that the next major flood in Brisbane would be between 1m and 2m higher than anticipated by the Brisbane town plan.

Insurance company lawyers should have a field day with the study, as it provides evidence the council chose to wittingly ignore warnings that its decision to maintain its strategy would increase its liability and cause the loss of Natural Disaster Relief funds. It was anticipated that during a large flood similar in magnitude to that experienced in 1974, by using mitigation facility within Wivenhoe Dam, flood levels will be reduced downstream by an estimated 2 metres. The problem is that the “shock absorber” couldn't take much more.

The recommendations in the report for radical changes in planning strategy, emergency plans and transparency about the true flood levels for Brisbane were rejected and the report was covered up.

Alarming report on risks covered up - The Australian

The public should NOT have to donate one cent to the Queensland Premiers Flood Relief Appeal. The donations, or should I say blood money, should come wholly from Liberal, Labor and National Party coffers. For it is these corrupt political parties that received donations (read 'bribes') from influential developers to get flood prone development approved and the forests ripped down.

And those developers made millions and millions. Look at the scale of the Riverside developments alone!

Now the people of Queensland are paying the price of that corruption and council gross negligence with their homes, livelihoods and lives. Many victims have no insurance because the insurance companies were well aware. Many will never recover. After the media limelight has dimmed, many will sink into despair and worse.

For the Queensland Labor Party to have the gall to ask for public donations is TRIPLE DIPPING - (1) from taxes and rates already collected, (2) donations from developer already collected and now (3) hoodwinking the public for donations.

Cough up Bligh and spare the epistles and calculated Boudiccan body language.

You may have fool some people this time.

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region
Victoria 3885

Whilst Tigerquoll rightly condemns those who have profited from creating the circumstances, which have needlessly caused so much more harm than should have occurred, it is nevertheless essential that decent ordinary people do as much as they can to relieve the hardship. If they were to wait until those, who should be held responsible, pay to relieve the hardship they have caused, donate what they rightly should relief, which is so badly needed won't be possible.

Of course, intending donors must look very carefully at appeal funds to ensure that the money they give to is most likely to reach those most in need.

Firstly, I wouldn't give one quarter of one cent to the Salvos for reasons known to hundreds of abused in Salvation Army "care" between the late 1800's and 1990's. Charities have the perpetual habit of achieving records of poor performance, both monetarily and other, and they they think we will quickly forget.
Oh no, not all of us forget.

Secondly, when the time is right, the Brisbane Flood Study that was withheld from public scrutiny until Campbell Newman stepped in around 2004 should be brought to public attention. Insurance companies and lawyers may then be able to bring to account all those who were privy to the Study, but failed to publicly inform constituents.

Indeed, successive Labor governments and an earlier Brisbane City Council appear to have much to answer for in regard to building regulations.

Anna Bligh has done no more than she is paid to do - front the media and provide facts. She has continually kept her most experienced male uniformed officials in the media conference background. The two women - Gillard and Bligh - are political performers, both of them only just clinging on to power. They are not trained disaster managers and both have long and unacceptably high records of incompetence. Neither have the credibility to inspire managerial/budgetary confidence just on the basis of fronting the media regularly during a crisis or being followed by television cameras for the few minutes that they encounter citizens who have lost so much.

We will see how forthcoming the Queensland government is on the matter of the Brisbane Flood Study's warnings and recommendations, and how they go about dodging the Australian public's inevitable, angry questions.

Seems pretty obvious that this very expensive inquiry (estimated $15 million) will define out of its parameters the main question, which is who is responsible for permitting building below the 1974 floodline. Who is responsible for permitting uninsurable bilding? Who made money out of allowing people to place their principal earnings and lives in a flood path?

"Ms Bligh said the inquiry, to be headed by Queensland Justice Cate Holmes, would provide an interim report in August and a final report in 12 months' time.

The deputy commissioners will be former Queensland police commissioner Jim O'Sullivan and dam expert Phil Cummins.

Ms Bligh said the inquiry would look at issues such as the preparation and planning of governments, the performance of private insurers and the immediate response and management of authorities.

The adequacy of forecasts and warning systems, particularly in relation to what happened in the Lockyer Valley area, would also be examined."


Sheila Newman, population sociologist
home page

From the point of view of many humans, the term "natural disaster" is a convenient scapegoat because it allow a person (or a whole nation) to blame nature for their own poor planning.

The full comment has been republished here. It includes material originally from Natural News as well as a further comment by Bandicoot about the Queensland floods. .

Don't trust Queensland Premier Bligh with public donations. If you want the money to reach the victims of the floods give to Salvos direct.

Learn from the outcome of the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Appeal...

Victorian bushfire victims say they feel abandoned
by John Ferguson and Wayne Flower, Herald Sun, 5th May 2009

"Many victims of Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires feel abandoned, helpless and trapped by red tape and government indecision.

Widespread anger among victims fighting to rebuild has been detailed to the Herald Sun. Some victims are being forced to live in caravans and tents as bitterly cold weather hits the mountains. Most are yet to receive their full entitlements from the Bushfire Appeal Fund.

Residents have complained to that no one can tell them what houses can be rebuilt in fire zones. Many blocks affected by the fires are yet to be cleared.

The Herald Sun has spoken to dozens of fire victims in the past week, discovering growing anger over the way they have been treated.
Just $37 million of the $334 million bushfire fund has made its way to victims. Callignee fire victims Louise and Tony Mann, who almost perished with their two children on Black Saturday, are becoming the public face of discontent in Gippsland.

They are outraged over how the bushfire appeal has been handled, how insurance claims are dealt with, and the lack of information.
"The biggest problem is we're not being fed information. There is no information coming out," Mr Mann said.

In a series of developments:

SCARCELY any victims have been able to start rebuilding because of local government inaction.

MANY fire victims have yet to receive donations.

IT could be two years before Marysville is cleared of debris.

LOOTING is a serious concern among fire victims.

RED tape, including too many forms, multiple identification checks and the need for victims to see financial advisers, is infuriating many.

MANY houses may never be rebuilt because of a lack of insurance and fire fears.

SO far only eight of the homes in Kinglake's Pine Ridge Rd may be rebuilt.

Last week, the Herald Sun visited the worst-affected areas, including Kinglake, Pheasant Creek, Strathewen, St Andrews, Marysville and Callignee. Many Marysville house sites have been untouched since February. Grocon is still interviewing fire victims about what should be removed.

Kinglake's Rodney Elwers is living in a caravan and annexe, waiting to see when his house site will be cleared. He is unsure how he can rebuild his brick house on National Park Rd, because of changing building regulations. He is looking forward to his annexe being made wind-proof.

"I've just given up on them," he said of the Department of Human Services.

Hazeldene resident Julie De Maria, whose house was spared, said there was anger that not enough was being done to help victims.
"It's a bit slow - it's the consensus of everybody," she said. "You can't get an answer out of council. Nothing."

Strathewen fire victim Ollie Shevchenko was worried about councils' role, urging officials to leave trees alone.

Bushfire Appeal Fund spokeswoman Melissa Arch said the process for obtaining rebuilding and recovery grants was as simple as possible.

"There is an expectation when there is a significant amount (of money) that there is some paperwork to complete. But it is not onerous and we're advising people, if they're having any difficulty, they've got case managers who can help them," she said.

Ms Arch denied that the latest grants, which were released on April 8, were taking too long to reach those in need.
"We're putting through between $1.5 million and $2 million into people's bank accounts every day," she said.


Disgusting treatment of victims by government. Look out Queenslanders!

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region
Victoria 3885

"Houston calls itself “the city with no limits” to convey the promise of boundless opportunity. But it also is the largest U.S. city to have no zoning laws, part of a hands-off approach to urban planning that may have contributed to catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey and left thousands of residents in harm’s way.

Growth that is virtually unchecked, including in flood-prone areas, has diminished the land’s already-limited natural ability to absorb water, according to environmentalists and experts in land use and natural disasters. And the city’s drainage system — a network of reservoirs, bayous and, as a last resort, roads that hold and drain water — was not designed to handle the massive storms that are increasingly common"

Read More here: