Royal visit will bol­ster spir­its af­ter disas­ter

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

IT was 40 years ago that North Queens­land last tasted Bri­tish roy­alty when Queen El­iz­a­beth II came to Townsville to open James Cook Univer­sity. Now, this month, the fu­ture King of Eng­land, Prince Wil­liam, will visit our re­gion to in­spect the dam­age, and those af­fected by Cy­clone Yasi. It will be a big few days for Queens­land as Prince Wil­liam also takes in ar­eas around Toowoomba and Bris­bane, so badly af­fected by lethal floods. Prince Wil­liam will travel with­out his fi­ancee Kate Mid­dle­ton, firstly vis­it­ing New Zealand to hon­our those af­fected by the Christchurch earth­quake and the site of the Grey­mouth min­ing disas­ter. He is ex­pected in Queens­land on March 19, spend­ing two days here be­fore head­ing to Vic­to­ria to see com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by flood­ing. The peo­ple of towns such as Ing­ham, Card­well, Mis­sion Beach, Tully and In­n­is­fail have been dev­as­tated by Yasi and many con­tinue to strug­gle emo­tion­ally and fi­nan­cially. On top of the de­struc­tion caused by Yasi, these town­ships are now be­ing crip­pled by flood­ing af­ter heavy rain­fall in re­cent days. There is also the lurk­ing pos­si­bil­ity of an­other late sea­son cy­clone or trop­i­cal low, which would be an­other cruel blow to Yasi vic­tims as they strug­gle to re­build their lives. Prince Wil­liam’s visit will be timely and ap­pre­ci­ated. It is sure to bol­ster the spir­its of those af­fected. Over the past two weeks, se­nior staff from the Townsville Bul­letin, Cairns Post, Her­bert River Ex­press and In­n­is­fail Ad­vo­cate have been comb­ing through scores of ap­pli­ca­tions for $ 250,000 in sports and com­mu­nity grants to help these towns get back on their feet. The dev­as­ta­tion and im­pact is be­yond com­pre­hen­sion. Smaller town­ships will take years to re­cover. Let’s hope Prince Wil­liam’s visit can at least add a lit­tle bit of joy to these peo­ple’s lives.

IBM con­nec­tion a win­ner

TOWNSVILLE has beaten a swag of in­ter­na­tional cities to be part of a pro­gram pi­o­neered by global tech­nol­ogy gi­ant IBM, aimed at im­prov­ing the city’s en­vi­ron­men­tal cre­den­tials. In a coup for Townsville City Coun­cil, be­ing part of the Smarter Cities Chal­lenge will give civic lead­ers ac­cess to IBM’s top ex­perts to an­a­lyse and rec­om­mend ways to sup­port the city’s ex­ist­ing sus­tain­able ini­tia­tives. The ob­jec­tive is to con­nect to the com­mu­nity in new ways to make Townsville a world leader in pro­vid­ing smarter so­lu­tions to en­vi­ron­men­tal change. It’s un­ques­tion­ably the way of the fu­ture and with the in­volve­ment of IBM it’s a great step in the right direc­tion for North Queens­land.

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