Letters to the ed­i­tor

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

Mis­in­for­ma­tion

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

Con­cerns

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

Good job

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

Over-spend

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

Le­gal ac­tion

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

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