Yasi’s clouds show their silver lining
NORTH Queenslanders are getting two pieces of welcome news today. Firstly, as our front page declares, the North is undergoing an economic resurgence. This is very welcome news after a few lean years brought about by the global downturn and its after effects, followed by an extended run of tough weather conditions. That bad weather has affected everyone in North Queensland from primary producers who have had their livelihoods severely impacted upon to people who had their homes and businesses destroyed by Cyclone Yasi. It is good to hear there are signs of an economic turnaround with Townsville Enterprise reporting nearly $ 30 billion worth of projects are either planned or under way in North Queensland. The figures revealed in the latest Development Status Report reveal a $ 10 billion increase on last year. The strength of the Townsville region’s economy is its diversity. It does better than most regions in tough times because it does not rely on one major industry. This is reflected in the variety of projects included in the report with the 63 projects ranging across property and construction, infrastructure and mining. The report also pointed out that the clouds which accompanied Cyclone Yasi have a silver lining of sorts. The incredible damage the category five storm inflicted on the North, particularly the Cassowary Coast region, means a lot of money will be spent on rebuilding in the next few years. Townsville’s Bureau of Meteorology delivered another dose of bright news yesterday, predicting we have seen the last of the cyclone season for 2010/ 11. However, the La Nina system which delivered a more intense cyclone season has not finished with us yet. More rain is forecast for the coming days with the bureau issuing warnings of flash flooding for the region. Areas to Townsville’s south have copped the brunt of the rainfall in recent days and it looks like we will continue to feel the effects of the extended wet season in coming days with our rainfall record for March likely to tumble. North Queenslanders are fed up with the rain but unfortunately winter’s cloudless skies still look some time away.