Curse of the Coast
Big wet lashes region battered by Cyclone Yasi
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.
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