Curse of the Coast

Big wet lashes re­gion bat­tered by Cy­clone Yasi

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - by Natalie Wynne natalie. wynne@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

NORTH Queens­lan­ders are feel­ing cursed as Yasi-af f ected t owns I ng­ham, Card­well, Mis­sion Beach and Tully come to grips with se­vere flood­ing over the past few days.

Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral Quentin Bryce has can­celled her trip to the flood-stricken area this week­end and there are now se­ri­ous doubts over whether Prince Wil­liam’s in­spec­tion of the re­gion will go ahead the fol­low­ing week­end.

The Bruce High­way and scores of other roads have been cut as the re­gion, from Ing­ham to Tully, is bat­tered by rain, in­clud­ing 400mm in the past 48 hours.

Af­ter the dev­as­ta­tion of Cy­clone Yasi, days of tor­ren­tial rain have caused wide­spread chaos, leav­ing towns iso­lated, schools closed and busi­nesses send­ing peo­ple home.

Mo­torists have been asked to put nonessen­tial travel on hold with the Bruce High­way cut off north of Ing­ham.

For the peo­ple of Ing­ham, it’s the sec­ond ma­jor flood in two years af­ter cop­ping it badly this time two years ago.

THE LNP has been ac­cused of mak­ing f un of North Queens­land’s cy­clone and flood-in­duced heartache.

LNP mem­bers were heard laugh­ing in State Par­lia­ment ques­tion time when the topic of North Queens­land’s weather was raised.

The con­tro­ver­sial re­ac­tion be­gan when La­bor’s Bar­ron River MP, Steve Wet­ten­hall, asked Premier Anna Bligh about the lat­est up­date on how North Queens­land’s weather prob­lems were go­ing in light of heavy rain.

Thuringo wa MP Craig Wal­lace said the re­sponse from the Op­po­si­tion was sim­ply heart­less.

‘‘ We don’t ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing made fun of in our time of disas­ter,’’ he said.

‘‘ We are still go­ing through our worst wet sea­son in liv­ing mem­ory and we need all the help we can get.’’

The MP said the Op­po­si­tion needed to grow up and show some com­pas­sion for peo­ple who are still hurt­ing in their re­cov­ery.

He said their ap­par­ent lack of un­der­stand­ing cast se­ri­ous doubts on their abil­ity to lead the state.

‘‘ It goes to show just how out of touch the LNP Op­po­si­tion is,’’ he said.

‘‘ This is a kick in the guts for peo­ple in Townsville, Ing­ham, Card­well, Tully and Mis­sion Beach, who con­tinue to battle the el­e­ments.

‘‘ They think the dis­as­ters are fin­ished be­cause it’s not hap­pen­ing in the south-east Queens­land cor­ner.

‘‘ How dare they think what we are go­ing through is hu­mor­ous.’’

Mr Wal­lace said he was so an­gered by the re­ac­tion, the Speaker asked him to set­tle down.

An Op­po­si­tion spokesman de­nied the LNP had no sym­pa­thy for the North, say­ing the mood in the cham­ber was jovial and the laugh­ter was taken out of con­text.

‘‘ There was some laugh­ter over an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence made to Anna Bligh be­ing the weather girl,’’ he said.

Mr Wal­lace said he felt the re­sponse showed the LNP treated North Queens­land with con­tempt.

The Op­po­si­tion spokesman said there was no ref­er­ence to the weather cri­sis in the North at all.

‘‘ The claims are non­sense and he’s ( Craig Wal­lace) just be­ing mis­chievous,’’ he said.

Photo: LIND­SAY HAL­LAM

DRENCHED: Card­well res­i­dent Karin Meacham stands in flood­wa­ter out­side her Roma St home. Tor­ren­tial rain has flooded homes and has iso­lated the town still strug­gling to clean up af­ter Cy­clone Yasi rav­aged the re­gion last month

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