It never rains but it bores

Life & Style Weekend - - TREND - with Michael Burlace Pol­lie Tick­led is a satir­i­cal col­umn.

IT HAP­PENS ev­ery time. A cy­clone brings wind and rain, then the rain starts to ac­cu­mu­late in mas­sive floods that cover the land.

The ris­ing wa­ters soon bring on a plague of nox­ious an­i­mals – rats, snakes, politi­cians and other ver­min head for flood-af­fected towns and cities.

The ones that ar­rive and leave as quickly as the tele­vi­sion crews are the pol­lies. But I felt quite nos­tal­gic when the fa­mous Bron­niecopter landed near my new beach­front home half­way up the es­carp­ment and out popped Mal­colm to turn back the tides and prom­ise that things will be bet­ter next time be­cause we’ll have flood-proof homes.

He looked re­mark­ably like the Mal­colm who was al­most apoplec­tic a week be­fore as he launched an at­tack in Par­lia­ment on the Greens’ Adam Bandt. Bandt had made the out­ra­geous com­ment that ap­prov­ing more coal mines such as the Adani mega mine would con­trib­ute to ex­treme weather events such as Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie.

But we all know that the ini­tial C is the only thing linking Coal min­ing, Cli­mate change, Cy­clones and Catas­tro­phes. I’m with Don­ald Trump there. He says it’s a Chi­nese plot. And just note how Chi­nese starts with the same let­ter. Con­spir­acy? Co­in­ci­dence? Cor­rect? Con­fused?

You make up your own mind. As you do so, note that Science starts with a dif­fer­ent let­ter. You read it first here. And those ini­tials mean Mal­colm won’t have to eat his words that are soggy now. He snagged some neg­a­tive com­ments af­ter he turned down a sausage sand­wich in Lis­more. How could he? White bread, mys­tery meat and gen­eros­ity. But he dodged an­other sausage­gate by charm­ing the woman who of­fered it. My spies tell me he’d just wolfed a plate of truf­fles washed down with a Moet smoothie and couldn’t eat an­other thing.

I think a bit of pol­lie pres­ence does the world of good in floods. Just ask Anna Bligh – she never looked more ap­peal­ing than dur­ing the last floods in the north. She was ac­tive, had pres­ence and seemed a calm­ing in­flu­ence. And lost the next elec­tion in a land­slide. Mal­colm got filmed push­ing a bar­row. Politi­cians are al­ways push­ing a bar­row but this was phys­i­cal – a real bar­row – so it’s a start.

Mal­colm has lifted one em­ploy­ment sec­tor. The house­boat in­dus­try is cheer­ing. Lots of float­ing homes to be built. Each of these flood-proof homes will come with so­lar power, NBN to the near­est moor­ing and ad­ver­tise­ments on the roof to pay for it all.

The navy gets new tugs to res­cue any of these new seachang­ers who float out to sea, cast adrift by neigh­bours fed up with their noise and bad habits. I can see it now, a flotilla of bo­gans off the coast be­ing mar­shalled by the navy as they de­mand to be towed to Bali as com­pen­sa­tion for hav­ing to live afloat.

While they sort out that boat peo­ple is­sue, the rest of us need to watch where the flood-proof­ing money gets spent. I hear mar­ginal elec­torates can ask for their new levee banks to be gold plated. Safe seats will get grey con­crete or com­pacted soil lev­ees. But at least the La­bor Party showed a rare grasp of fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity and re­fused to go any dearer than sil­ver plat­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately, both sides wrote their prom­ises in the mud where they stood and the next wave of flood wa­ter washed them away.

But we all know that the ini­tial C is the only thing linking Coal min­ing, Cli­mate change, Cy­clones and Catas­tro­phes. I’m with Don­ald Trump there. He says it’s a Chi­nese plot.


PM A PROPHET: “These are record flood events so we’re go­ing to have to be bet­ter pre­pared be­cause clearly this will be re­peated.’’ What do coal min­ing, cy­clones and catas­tro­phes have in com­mon? Just ask Don­ald Trump what he thinks.

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