Letters to the editor
JUST before midnight, the night of Dylan cyclone, I received a recorded message saying that I was in a grey zone and should evacuate.
It cut out, so I did not hear it all. I could not understand why I had been called as according to the Emergency Disaster Guide, I was not in the grey zone or any other zone. Already awake, I looked up who to ring and found in the local phone book the number of Whitsunday Disaster Co-ordination centre and rang them to be told, not to worry, everyone in Airlie and surrounds was getting the call.
I looked up the book and found that all the 5 zones listed for evacuation are all exactly the same areas? Also, how accurate are these coloured in maps?
Having spoken to several people regarding the phone messages, it caused great distress to many people and families, in the rain, and wind in the middle of the night telling people to evacuate. Imagine the chaos if everyone in Airlie had heeded the message and tried to leave all at the same time?
It was not even a category 2 by then and we have had greater ones than that and no huge storm surges.
Council and the relevant organisations need to do some serious updating of the actual levels of the areas shown and not just scare the hell out of people and small children by ringing them in the middle of the night with misinformation.
This booklet is confusing and the information regarding these zones is not accurate as at 2014.
Sort it out people, or more people will be harmed in panicking and trying to leave than bunkering down for cylones.
Gaye Donnellan CANNONVALE
REGARDING last week’s Whitsunday Regional Council SMS storm surge warnings, I raise several concerns.
A (Grey Zone) warning of a surge tide was received at 2007 hrs for the early hours of Friday, a look at the tide chart suggested this would not happen until 1100 hrs, several Residents of my complex, some women with small kids were packing, attempting to leave at the peak of the storm, others had been drinking and about to drive. A (Pink Zone) warning was issued at 2317 suggested an additional 1m being added to that, or 2.3m above the HAT. 1m over the Shute Harbour road at 121. The Pink Zone represents a 1 in 1000 year event (according to map), doubtful in a barely category 2 system with little or no northerly wind effect. Adding to this the highest tide predicted overnight was 3.2m LAT raising the required storm surge another 0.8m, or 3.1m in total. The storm tide measured at Shute Harbour was 0.7m(approx.), easier with hind sight.
Another concern is the accuracy of the Whitsunday storm Tide Map 07, which shows, at our complex, 4 contours (zones) across our site and the adjacent site, a rise of 2m. Both flat sites at approximately the same level, i.e. no contours (zones), because of this we can only guess which zone we are in. A survey with heights for each property in the surge zone, about 18 within the pink zone boundary on this map is needed.
We were lucky no one was injured or killed because of the mishandled warnings. These things must be fixed.
Shane Davis CANNONVALE
THE Bureau of Meteorology may have given an update an hour and a half after TC Dylan crossed the coast but it also gave one about an hour and a half before it crossed.
It consistently said it would make landfall between Ayr and Proserpine - and it did. People in this area (and much wider) were given plenty of warning to be properly prepared.
If you go to sleep (like Premier Newman did) it doesn't matter if warnings are every three hours, every hour or every minute you won't hear them because you are asleep.
If you are in the stated warning zone for a cyclone then it is your responsibility to keep yourself informed at all times but especially as it nears the coast.
The Bureau do a fantastic job. Everyone turns to them and trusts them during a cyclone and so they should. It's just strange though that when it comes to what they have to say on climate change, some (including our local federal member) doubt it.
The BOM already do a great job on a limited budget. If the pollies want to whinge and beat their chests, then give them the funding they need.
Jonathon Dykyj ANDERGROVE
MAYOR Whitney just couldn’t wait for the results of her CMC complaint to be announced.
She has now continued her personal vendetta against former Whitsunday Council staff by having the CEO commence legal action over an alleged $10 million road funding dispute.
I wonder how much these additional legal fees are going to cost ratepayers when the CMC report due out soon, will decide the matter once and for all anyway. Why is there so much concern about the alleged $10million spent on roads in 2010 and very little concern about the current $26million overspend?
Perhaps Mayor Whitney should be more concerned about the $26 million overspend that has occurred in her term of office as the Mayor.
Phil Horan AIRLIE BEACH
THE Whitsunday Regional Council meeting agenda (January 29), in highlighting two new legal actions continues to demonstrate erratic behaviour which will continue to cost us dearly in unnecessary legal costs and lost focus on what a council should deliver.
It is again why the WRRA petition and its six reasons and supplementary explanations, requests the Minister to appoint an administrator and hold fresh elections. Let's review each legal action. Firstly we’ve now found about "the missing $10m" (alleged CMC complaint), the WRC leadership whispered about during my (WRRA) Financial Dec presentation at Proserpine, which just "couldn't be discussed". After 18 months of clandestine CMC ma- noeuvring WRC now says it’s not missing, but alleged to have been misused to bolster the 2011 operating surplus.
As the Queensland Audit office signed off on the 2011 Annual report are they to be sued along with management?
This is just as bizarre as hearing that the underlying reason is that the $85m of much needed W&S plants supported by $45m of loans was unlikely to be approved by QLD Treasury if they knew this.
Surely Treasury would need to be convinced of the underlying W&S case cash flows and WRC ability to pay loans. And they were. Did they miss this too and are they also facing legal action? Preposterous!
Remember we had the LNP Federal candidate also calling for funding from the Labor Gov't to support water quality in 2011.
Lastly legal action for a now "$13m overspend on 2010 NDRRA". But this was a $16.5m overspend back in the CEO's March 2013 report. Like all figures WRRA quote from their own reports, they never reconcile from one report to another and management never gives any explanation of the variance. The only saving grace is the original overspend to justify increasing our 2014 rates has been reduced. Don’t waste your breath this will result in lower 2015 rates though, after recent capital works blowouts. The problem is there still seems no one within the WRC to hold the CFO or leadership to rigorous accountability even on legal action involving finances.
When you combine this with the absolute secrecy of CMC investigations over 18 months, to now recommending legal action (without hearing the CMC outcome; as it seems sub judiciary is now not an issue? Or is this new legal action deliberate to prevent the embarrassment of CMC handing down a "no case result"!), it is no wonder large unexplained overspends on operating and capital works have occurred through lack of management focus. Please sign the WRRA petition and take the much needed voter action to dissolve this incapable and ineffective WRC regime.
John W Barnes WRRA Secretary BOWEN