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Jan 12, 2011

'Events don't unfold hour-by-hour, but minute-by-minute': QLD floods

Crikey live blog: The number of missing people has been revised down from 76 to 51 people, although "grave concerns" are held for nine of those missing, announced Neil Roberts, QLD Emergency Services Minister. But there was one small piece of wonderful news...

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This post is no longer being updated. For the latest Crikey liveblog of the floods, head here.

Brisbane and Ipswich are bracing for their worst ever floods, with tens of thousands of homes at risk and fears for citizens’ safety, as the toll of dead and missing for the state-wide disaster continues to rise. The banks of the Brisbane River have broken and the flood peak will hit at 4am tomorrow. Already many suburbs are partially submerged, and 20,000 properties are likely to experience complete flooding in Brisbane.

In Ipswich the river is rising, with 1,500 properties already evacuated and over 1,000 people waiting in evacuation centres.

The death toll has risen to twelve people, the latest victims being two men found in Grantham in the Lockyer Valley. The number of missing people has been revised down to 51 people.

We will be back updating this post tomorrow.

Update: 5:45 pm Most of Brisbane’s major roads have now been closed, with the Riverside Expressway now closed. Police are asking for people to avoid driving through Brisbane.

More sad news from ABC 612:

Brisbane’s Riverwalk will be demolished: engineers declare it poses a serious safety risk. It is already partially destroyed and submerged.

A quick update of some photos available, because 60 Minutes reporter Michael Usher took some truly incredible photos from Rockhampton and the Lockyer Valley today.

The infamous Wivenhoe Dam.


The devasted town of Grantham.



In downtown Toowoomba.




Continuing on with Toowoomba, here’s a fascinating blog by a women who happened to be house sitting in Toowoomba this week (obviously the numbers of dead and missing are a little outdated):

During the rains and fog of the last few days and last night as we watched the news of this unprecedented crisis unfold before our very eyes, my emotions swayed between feeling lucky — oh so lucky, and a little un-nerved. How fate led us on a stretch of road along the Warrega highway that a few days later would be a region where 9 people die and over 60 — some of which are whole families — are missing. How fate had us accept a house sit on top of a hill that is probaly the best place to be.

Plus, back in Brisbane:

The Brisbane Wheel rises out of the floods, from @yangwong on Twitter.


And two hours ago, the Riverside Expressway under QUT, by @mcphailtom.


5:15 pm The number of missing people has been revised down from 76 to 51 people, although “grave concerns” are held for nine of those missing, announced Neil Roberts, QLD Emergency Services Minister.

But in “a small piece of wonderful news”, QLD Police Commissioner Rob Atkinson told of how two men, in two separate incidences in the Lockyer Valley, who were thought to have been swept away by the flood waters have been found safe and sound. “One can only describe it as a miracle based on the circumstances on which they went missing,” said Atkinson.

In the latest updates on the floods, the Brisbane River is currently at 4.16 metres. The peak of 5.5 metres is still expected for 4am.

The Bremer River in Ipswich sits steady at 19.4 metres, but current modelling predicts it will rise to 20.5 metres.

It is still possible that the Moggill Ferry may be sunk to avoid further issues, but no resolution has yet been decided. This is only a possibility for The Island Party Barge and the Drift cafe. As Roberts said, “These events unfold not just hour by hour but minute by minute.”

Roberts pleaded with residents to only dial 000 in cases of life threatening emergencies, as the phone lines has been clogged. He asked residents to continue to listen to radios and take care on the roads.

The flood crisis is continuing in Chinchilla, where E.coli has been found in the flood waters and water must be boiled before drinking.

Roberts also said things are “touch and go for Goondiwindi.”

4:15 pm Brisbane’s inland beach isn’t looking so tropical, judging on a photo posted by @rohandwyer:


Southbank is looking grim, notes this photo by @katie_mac.

westbankThe Pat Rafter Tennis Arena is also affected by the flooding, notes the @ATPWorldTour.

stadiumAn Atlantisesque photo of the Eagle Street Pier, posted by @NataliePeluso


While Julia Gillard expressed interest in meeting with locals in the streets of Brisbane today, it was local MP, ex-PM Kevin Rudd, who was strolling the flooded streets, chinos rolled up past his knees:


Since power cuts are occurring through Brisbane and Ispwich, authorities are warning residents to stay out of lifts, or they’ll get stuck in them. The Courier-Mail also reports:

Brisbane’s City Cat service could be offline for several months as ferry terminals will need rebuilding

Time magazine has an article on the Queensland floods.

And while the city is in the throes of preparation today, residents like Pedler are wondering why some basic precautions weren’t taken earlier. He says he works in a government structure, where one office in the complex bears a flood mark as a reminder of the events of 1974. “We always used to laugh at that and think why on earth would you build something below a floodline,” said Pedler. “They obviously thought that a flood like that would never happen again.”

There’s also a report in today’s NY Times:

Muddy flood waters began swamping thousands of homes and businesses in Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, and nearby townships on Wednesday as residents braced for further inundations in what has become one of Australia’s most devastating natural disasters.

3:45pm The Brisbane River has hit the first of two peaks this afternoon, at 4.5 metres. The next peak, of 5.5 metres, is due to hit at 4am tonight/early tomorrow. Due to the peak hitting in the middle of the night, authorities have suggested evacuation as soon as possible. The Ipswich flood peak is due to hit at any moment now.

All residents in the Brisbane CBD are being asked by the council to find alternative accommodation:

Brisbane City Council advises residents living in the CBD to make arrangements to stay with friends and family as ENERGEX progressively cuts power to parts of the city and flood waters predicted to inundate city streets.

While there are no forced evacuations planned and power cuts will affect only parts of the CBD, the scale of the de-energisations means customers may not receive personal notification of cuts to their buildings.

CBD residents are urged to make alternative accommodation arrangements as soon as practical, as predicted river levels for this afternoon are likely to inundate and close CBD streets.

Restoration times and reinstatement of services to some buildings, including water supply, are dependent on the rate that floodwaters recede and the extent of damage to electrical equipment, which could take days to determine.

If you’re anywhere near Pimpama in Queensland and can cook, then baking donations are being taken to help feed the tireless SES workers until 5pm, from today. Address is: Highway Church, 351 Creek Street, Old Pac HWY, at Pimpama.

And if you’re just sitting at home soaking up the media saturation coverage with a cynical eye, then perhaps crack out the booze and play the Queensland Flood Channel 9 News Drinking Game.

Take one drink IF:

  1. The news reporter says INUNDATED
  2. The news reporter says UNPRECEDENTED
  3. The news reporter says EVACUATION
  4. The news reporter says CAPACITY
  5. The news reporter is standing in water whilst reporting
  6. The news reporter makes reference to 1974 floods
  7. The news reporter says ‘Rolling Coverage’

3:30pm Basic facilities are beginning to break down across Brisbane, with the Courier-Mail reporting:

Raw sewage spewing into Brisbane River after treatment facilities broke down upstream

The Queensland Police are warning that ‎70,000 residents across Queensland have no power, including 56,000 in Brisbane and Ipswich. An extra 10,000 are expected to lose power in the next hour.

If you haven’t read Brisbane local John Birmingham’s column in the Brisbane Times today, I suggest you do:

The peak-hour exodus came four hours early and all of the main roads out of the city were soon crawling with traffic. Darkness at noon lent a weird, disaster movie aesthetic to the massive exit.

And everyone was talking about ’74 – at home, at work, online with friends, in line with strangers at the supermarket as they stocked up against the prospect of a city-wide flood. In Queensland, ’74 is shorthand, especially in Brisbane. Knowing of ’74, understanding it and what it might mean, separates the natives from the hundreds of thousands of blow-ins who’ve arrived in the past 10 or 15 years.

It was the year of the last great flood. If cities have memories, ’74 is a haunted memory for this city. It all but drowned. To invoke ’74, as the mayor did after Toowoomba, was to warn the city something awful was coming. Potentially as bad as Toowoomba, possibly worse.

Continuing along the historical theme, a complete history of flooding in Brisbane — and its an extensive one — can be found over at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Again, for a full list of Brisbane suburbs at risk, click here.

For a full list of Ipswich suburbs at risk, click here.

Concerns are rising for communities along the Queensland/New South Wales border, as the water starts moving south.

3:15pm Sad news from the floods: two bodies were found in the Lockyer Valley this afternoon, taking the death toll of the floods to 12. However the number of missing persons has dropped from over 90 to 67.

(apologies this information wasn’t in the last update, there was some confusion)

3pm Jason Whittaker writes: Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has delivered another briefing. As Bligh admitted “We still have a number of families who don’t know where their children are.”

She acknowledged the town of Chinchilla, north-west of Toowoomba, which is now facing rising floods for the second time. “This is a heartbreaking time for the people of Chinchilla,” Bligh said.

The flood peak in Ipswich is expected to be slightly lower than originally predicted. Water levels are currently around 19.25m, Bligh said, heading to 20.5m in the next couple of hours.

In Brisbane’s western suburbs, Gales and Goodna have been “particularly hard hit.” Closer to the city, Jindalee, Moggill and Yeronga are most affected.

The Moggill ferry, which runs on a wire across the river, has broken free from one of its guides. Crews have been dispatched to potentially sink or destroy the vessel before it breaks free and becomes a hazard. Other barges in the Brisbane River could also be sunk as a precaution.

In the city, much of the CBD has closed down. Buses to the city have ceased but train services are running where they can on a public holiday-type timetable. Numerous roads are flooded, including the Inner City Bypass. Tolls have been suspended on the Logan Motorway and Gateway Motorway until further notice.

As at 1pm local time, 3,585 people are formally registered in evacuation centres across Brisbane and Ipswich; 400 of those are in Brisbane. The numbers are expected to swell to 2500-3000.

All hospitals are operational and fears that the Wesley Hospital would have to close have been allayed. But all non-urgent surgery in Brisbane hospitals has been delayed.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Mayor Campbell Newman says power has now been cut to some 70,000 homes with more residents affected over the next few hours.

There is no more news on the search and rescue operation in Toowoomba. Police say they are now working with the coroner in the area.

12:45 pm There are some truly incredibly photos coming out of the floods. From Seven News, the Suncorp Stadium, looking more swimming pool than football oval (there was a minor fire here earlier, but police say it was just a “small fire… in isolated transformer room”)


The lower floors of the Queensland State Library. One can only imagine how well books and documents cope with flooding… The following three photos come from Jono Haysom, who is posting some incredible photos from Brisbane.


Outside the Stamford in Brisbane.


The rental bike system in Mary Street, near Albert Street.


The floating restaurant Drift cafe, formerly known as Oxley’s On the River is now drifting down the Brisbane River, posted on Twitter by @mrittz.


This photo from @katelhunter provides some comic relief. The swim school is located at Indooroopilly on the Brisbane River.


12:00 pm For a concerning look at the projected modelling for Brisbane’s flooding, check out this:


Anyone needing flood maps for the Brisbane area should head straight to this website. While the Brisbane City Council website has the same maps, their website has at times failed.

Contrary to myths floating around the internet, the Ipswich water supply has not been cut off, announced the brilliant Queensland Police Media Unit.

But for those needing to travel, there are issues with Brisbane’s public transport, with public transport service to be wound down from 1pm, announce TransLink.

Due to Police advice to stay away from the Brisbane CBD, we advise passengers to avoid non-essential travel today and to stay home where possible in the difficult weather conditions.

Bus and train services may be delayed or diverted, and ferry services are cancelled.

Bus and train services are continuing to run where possible, however passengers planning to use public transport should check the status of their intended service.

Check service updates for current bus, train and ferry information.

Disruptions are expected to continue due to bad weather, flooding and king tides.

11:30 am “We’ve woken up to a very surreal experience. The sky is blue, we are facing a beautiful Queensland day… but do not take any comfort from the fact that we have blue sky here this morning,” warns Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, as she outlined the latest flood news.

The death toll from the floods remains at ten, despite reports to the contrary. Number of missing is now “over 90”, said Bligh. However, since the weather is clear today an extensive search and rescue operation will commence in the Lockyer Valley.

The search and rescue operation will be a “very difficult, very urgent and occasionally heartbreaking task”, announced PM Julia Gillard, who joined Bligh for the latest press conference in Brisbane.

Already 1,500 properties have been evacuated in Ipswich and 1,200 people are in the 10 evacuation centres there.

Ipswich’s flood levels reached 18.9 metres at 7:30am today. In “slightly good news” the peak of 22 metres has been revised to 20.5 metres, said Bligh. It was 20.7 metres in 1974.  When the peak comes, 4,000 properties are expected to be affected.

Pontoons and boats are floating down the Brisbane river. The flood levels in Brisbane are at 3.1 metres rising. Bligh warns that while the river is rising slowly this morning, it will be quicker after lunch. It should peak today at 4.5 metres and rise to 5.5 metres tomorrow morning at 4am, where it will then stay until Saturday. In 1974 it peaked at 5.45 metres. The flood levels will be “1974 proportions and slightly higher,” advises Bligh.

Bligh also noted that when making those comparisons between the 2011 and the 1974 floods, that people need to remember that those cities are vastly different places, with a significantly higher population, more dense suburban areas and new suburbs, including inner city Brisbane areas.

The numbers of expected flooding in Brisbane are serious. 2,100 streets. 19,700 residences will flood across their entire property. 3,500 commercial properties will experience flooding across their entire property.

In Brisbane 182 people are already registered at the RNA Showgrounds evacuation centre, with a new evacuation centre opening at the QEII stadium on the south side of Brisbane. The Lord Mayor of Brisbane is apparently in talks with churches to see if church halls and church facilities can be used to house those in need of evacuation.

Residents should stay at home and avoid going travelling on the streets. “Do not travel if you do not have to. It is a danger to the rest of the population to have people out travelling unnecessarily”, said Bligh. “This incidwent is not a tourist event. This is a deeply serious natural disaster.”

Traffic management plans have been put into place and its expected many traffic lights in Brisbane will not function as electricity gets cut off.

It’s not just Brisbane and Ipswich battling these floods today. Dalby has rising flood waters and 125 people in an evacuation centre. Chinchilla is expected to receive a flood peak higher than the floods it experienced ten days ago. Condamine was completely evacuated last night. The water at Goondiwindi, a town of 5,00 people, is just half a metre from the levees. Evacuations are also occurring in the tiny town of Texas, population 600. Water in Rockhampton is finally dropping. As is Gympie, but that water will then hit Maryborough. Flooding is also expected in Bundaberg.

As Bligh noted, many of these towns are facing floods for the second time in two weeks and Brisbane and Ipswich residents should “draw inspiration and courage” from them.

“I can say, honestly, I do know what it is like to be worrying about your own family,” said an emotional Bligh, as she explained that her own mother is now staying at Bligh’s home, since her own house was at risk.

Gillard also announced emergency payments will be made available, with 10,000 payments, worth $17 million already made. Gillard was careful to stress that these are just initial emergency payments and not for rebuilding homes and business. Obviously they will come later.

In more positive news: here is a frog riding a snake in the floods. Will this be the new Sam the Koala?

frog rides snake


Flood affects journos too, writes Jason Whittaker in today’s Media Briefs:

The big guns of breakfast TV are broadcasting through the morning, perched atop Kangaroo Point cliffs overlooking the Brisbane CBD and along the disappearing banks of the Brisbane River. Karl Stefanovic heads Nine’s coverage (after broadcasting well into the night yesterday), while Melissa Doyle cut short her holidays to join Larry Emdur (that’s the former game show host who Nine now wants to poach to anchor its breakfast news) on an extended Sunrise. ABC1 has flicked the switch to Aunty’s 24-hour news station, with Joe O’Brien water-side in Brisbane.

Brisbane’s only daily paper The Courier-Mail is headquartered at Bowen Hills, one of the inner-city suburbs expected to face flooding throughout the day. Its online rival, Fairfax’s Brisbane Times, has already moved out of its riverside office tower in the CBD and has journalists working in the field, at home and out of stablemate 4BC’s Cannon Hill studios. The ABC continues to work out of multiple offices while its new Southbank headquarters is built (the riverside construction site will go under today), with the all-important Local Radio studios in Toowong also in flood’s way. The station briefly lost phone services this morning and had to redirect listener calls.

As the 1974 flood comparisions continue, it’s interesting to note that Brisbane has over one million more residents today.

10:00 am The Brisbane River has just broken at Yeronga, with 20,000 properties under threat, reports the ABC. “Hundreds of homes are underwater”, said Sky News, who noted that their information came by ABC local radio.

The Brisbane City Council are looking for more volunteers:

Brisbane City Council have asked if anyone would like to lend a hand filling sandbags.

People should preferably wear work boots and high visibility clothing. If volunteers do not have work boots then enclosed shoes must be worn. Light coloured clothing is also acceptable is you do not have high visibility.

Centres are at:
9 Redfern Street, Balmoral
7 Brockman Street, Stafford
Jennings Street, Zillmere
252 Curtin Avenue West, Eagle Farm
66 Wilston Road, Newmarket

Photos are coming out of Brisbane’s rising waters. This was Riverside Green at Southbank, at 7am this morning, taken by Indigo Willing on Twitter:


Also, what was the Queensland University of Technology City Cat stop.


9:30 am A “senior emergency official” says that 30 people are believed to be dead, according to unconfirmed reports in The Australian and also Sky News. Premier Anna Bligh announced yesterday the suspected number of deaths was at least double the current toll.

Ipswich is in immediate danger, with parts of the city already submerged. A flood peak of 21.5 metres is expected to hit the Bremer River in Ipswich at 11am today, a rise of five metres in five hours.

Yesterday afternoon the main street was dry, today it is underwater.

As Ipswich copes with the rising flood waters, reports of looting in flood affected areas has infuriated locals. “If I find anybody looting in our city they will be used as flood markers,” declared Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Up in Brisbane, a staggering 90,000 Brisbane properties are expected to be flood affected in the coming days, as the Wivenhoe Dam reached 190% capacity last night. The peak for Brisbane is expected early tomorrow morning.

Electricity would be cut to 100,000 properties in Brisbane, warned Energex.

This is the second time in two weeks that Condamine, Warwick, Chinchilla and Dalby communities are facing floods.

Newspapers around the nation focused on the floods, with one photo of a toddler getting evacuated a popular choice for newspaper editors. Click on the image to enlarge.


Seven more Australian Defence Force helicopters will be brought into Queensland for search and rescue efforts, PM Julia Gillard announced this morning, bringing the helicopter total to 15.

Among the 10 already confirmed dead are Steven and Sandra Matthews, the parents who hoisted their children to safety in a manhole in their home’s ceiling in Spring Bluff. When their son turned around to help them up, the flood waters had already taken them away. A touching obit of the couple can be found here:

The Matthews moved to Spring Bluff six years ago to establish their own electrical and air-conditioning business.

An ordained minister and devoutly religious man, Steven was also a keen motorcycle enthusiast and sportsman, winning gold in his age division for weightlifting at the 2009 World Masters Games.

A look at today’s BOM rainfall map shows the relentless rain hitting Queensland. If you want to keep up to date with other Queensland flood maps, this website is a great resource.


With flash flooding predicted for Melbourne today, more than 1,700 evacuated in NSW due to flooding and bushfires in Western Australia, it’s a hectic week for Mother Nature in Oz.

Volunteers in Brisbane have spent much of the night sandbagging. If you would like to join in volunteer efforts in Brisbane, call 3002 7600 or email crew@volunteeringqld.org.au. For those flood affected and wondering what to do with their pets, find information here.

For those overseas, ABC 24 has temporarily lifted its geo-block to cover the flooding disaster. For those wishing to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, managed by the Red Cross, head here.

Other emergency numbers:
Flood Emergency Information and Disaster Recovery Hotline: 1800 173 349
State Emergency Service: 132 500
Lifeline telephone counselling crisis line: 13 11 14

  • When the SES Helicopter is shown.
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    91 thoughts on “‘Events don’t unfold hour-by-hour, but minute-by-minute’: QLD floods

    1. Liz45

      @NADIA – I agree totally. I’ve been really impressed with how calm and articulate she is, and just KNOWS every aspect of every situation, and god knows there’s too many to count. I’ve just watched another update, and have the feeling, that the news will only get worse from here. I feel for all concerned. I don’t mind admitting to being close to tears many times, so can only admire how brave and composed she is – she must be exhausted. Her own Mum had to evacuate and is now at her home, but her own home could be at risk too. Truly inspiratational Anna! Could not fault her, not that I’ve been trying to? I think Julia Gillard and Kristina Keneally have also been great – see, women can do anything!

      In sharp contrast, yesterday’s Media conference in Canberra disgusted me. The questions of some journalists re budgets and surpluses was disgusting. I could not believe, that just after we’d learned of at least 6 deaths, including a4 yr old little boy who was swept away, these heartless morons showed such a lack of respect for the victims and the many people who are still missing, probably dead. The response on ABC radio showed, that there were lots of us who felt disgusted.

      The one bright light of joy, was that dear little boy who decided to enter the world, when all around him were in turmoil. He and his mother are safe and well. Good news in the midst of sadness, fear and destruction!
      It’s so awful, that at times it appears to be unreal!

    2. Liz45

      @Shepherd Marilyn – I agree with you, and of course Haiti is still suffering badly – that’s an understatement too. It needs to be said though, that if the US hadn’t interfered in Haiti by getting rid of their democratically elected president – twice, there may have been a different outcome. The earthquake in Chile was worse than Haiti, but resulted in less deaths and destruction – they’d introduced legislation re new buildings – they had to be built to take such earthquakes. Poor Haiti has been kept in an impoverished position to fulfill the desires of the US – with typical results.

      As to Pakistan, I agree with you, and there’s no excuse for withdrawing financial support, just as our Govt says nought over the US campaign of using drones to kill innocent Pakistanis, on the false claim of getting rid of “terrorists”? Once we go down the road of supporting those who engage in empire building, we lose all credibility. When did the US go to the UN about invading Pakistan? And when did the UN say it was OK?

      However, I don’t think that I should not have compassion for the people in Queensland. My heart does go out to them, and I know there’s going to be so much BS after the crisis is over, that we’ll all end up tearing out our hair. Making political points out of another’s misery is really low. It will cost billions and billions of dollars, not to mention money lost from no production etc, but the main thing must be saving peoples lives, and being thankful that not more are lost. We have a long way to go!

    3. Vix

      I’ve been watching this footage over the last many days – and weeks, being a media junkie. I also watched the footage of all the other frightful disasters in other countries too Marilyn, including the 2004 tsunami, Katrina, Pakistani floods, Haitian earthquake, the Chinese earthquake, etc etc etc. (well, those we get to see the footage OF). I also lived through Black Saturday here in Gippsland… it was only 2 years ago coming up barely 3 weeks from now. And I need hardly tell you, all those in Victoria who were affected directly or indirectly, are feeling what’s going on in Q’land with direct pain. I also lived through Black Saturday’s aftermath just at our local level, including working in government agencies trying to manage. The recovery phase is still going on for some people, 2 years on. Some will never ‘recover’.

      I have often enjoyed Marilyn’s acidic and often witty political rants – in the spirit of Swift, I like to think. I share most of her general political leanings, including her sensitivities about our privileged first world existence vis a vis those in places like Pakistan etc. At the same time, it is critical that I for one – and I believe many others feel the same: can acknowledge – and not apologise for – our feelings for the ‘locals’ in our own country. She’s an infuriating country to be sure. But when YOU are actually in the midst of massive fire or flooding coming at you, your neighbours, your usual landscape…..psychologically, DUH, all else – including your finer political perspectives and global views disappear. And so they must and should. You simply have to focus, be right there in the present moment. Moment by moment. It’s called survival.

      Just for this topic, Marilyn, unless you have some something human and compassionate to say – as you have shown with your funny recollections in the Dogonauts Lounge at times, of (funnily enough) your poignantly old fashioned Aussie upbringing – please keep a judicious Buddhist silence. Thank you.

    4. maz.2

      Marilyn you certainly have a highly inflated opinion of yourself don’t you. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and you have shown absolutely no concern for the drama that is happening. How dare you say it’s not a disaster. If so, what is it then you idiot.

      These people from 75% of Queensland are suffering and some have been for weeks having lost everything not one, but two and three times. Would you be able to cope with that. Bet not. Get off your high horse and down with the real genuine people who call themselves Australian. Its people like you that really anger most people – I wonder if you have ever lost somebody (as I have) and know what that pain is like. My partner was completely disabled and lost both legs and a hand – am I whinging – no. I have seen many people who were blind, in wheelchairs and disabled to some extent being assisted into the Evacuation Centres. Fate and illness is what caused my partner of 46 years to die, and since then have managed to get myself together and still respect other human beings.

      You obviously are a bitter, twisted person with no emotion capable of being shown to the people that are going to go through years of hardship. And also, you have been in constant touch with a friend in Brisbane, and he got out. What do you think of the poor buggars that have LOST EVERYTHING THEY WORKED FOR PLUS THEIR LIVELIHOOD. Chew on that one.

      As to your comment about our “nation being revolting,” well if you don’t like it then get out and go and live in Pakistan or some other third world country and then you might appreciate what a lucky country we live in. I’d happily give you the money to leave and never return to our shores again. You are an obnoxious woman.

    5. lovethebuzz

      As the new day gives us the wisdom of hindsight, and as Marylin specifies this situation was completely predictable from the devastating floods of Pakistan and subsequent precipitous events in Bali Indonesia and North QLD the fact is that the monsoon feeds our weather system as our upper atmosphere heats up. Given that the cyclone season and full wet season is just about to kick in, these events are also an indicator of things to come as the long range forecast is for above average rain for the next few months. It is advisable for anyone that resides in flood prone areas throughout the whole country that has escaped the trauma of the current events to prepare for any contingencies that might occur in the future. We have been lucky to escape this time on the Northern Rivers. And our condolences to those affected in NSW, QLD and elsewhere. You will be lucky to receive the best Federal and State recovery assistance as those of us affected in past events have not. I thank whatever you believe in for the Local SES volunteers.
      The media coverage has been sensationalist, there have been many floods in regional areas previously (though none as epic as the Grantham episode ) that received scant mention from the media. It is interesting the way that 7 in particular has been promoting K Rudd as potential Lazarus material, I won’t be surprised if and when the puppet masters cut Julia’s strings before the next election and you guess the rest.
      The “IT Crowd” have performed well but still it came down to 1 or 3 ‘switched on’ individuals to lead the way though full credit to the Brisvegas City Council who went into damage control mode effectively limiting liabilty and hopefully avoiding acrimonious post disaster finger pointing. The QLD Police Facebook Page was the Coup providing the easiest accessible and most detailed actual information and data for worried residents and relatives.

    6. Elan

      SPEEDYOZA: and you would know!

      This is the only place-THE ONLY PLACE where comments that SM has had the guts to make, could engender some empathy (along with the inevitable outrage and condemnation).

      Let me declare my bias right here: I am Anglo-Pakistani OK?

      Yesterday, I was asked by a Coles cashier ‘if I wanted to donate to the floods in Queensland’.
      I told this lass to pass onto her Manager/the State Manager/and the International owners of the Coles group the following: That if Coles were to donate 100th of their profits to the QFAppeal, it would be-at least 10/50/100? times more than if every person passing through the checkout were to donate. (Irrespective of the emotional blackmail being practised by Coles on those in a checkout queue).

      I told her that I am declining on the grounds that THOUSANDS have died in the still ongoing flood devastation in Pakistan- yet not one-NOT ONE bloody bank or any other organisation made arrangements to assist with donations for what is a MEGA disaster.
      That little sympathy was expressed in the West for these poor sods.

      I know what you’re thinking..? (Damn it all, it beats hands down the ‘how are you today?’ trite rubbish!!)

      I DO know it was not this kids fault-that is why I kept my voice calm.

      MS has the guts to ‘break the ranks’ of the ‘we are all in this together’ gung ho camaraderie.

      Good for you Marilyn!! In this atmosphere it was going to get you lynched though!

      Let me be clear,-I too can’t watch this without emotion. The loss of the little 4 yo who they were trying to rescue had me in tears.

      For Gods sake! Didn’t any of you care that something WAY bigger happened in my mothers country> Don’t you care that HUNDREDS of little ones have drowned. Did the media care?

      Is it heresy for someone to dare to point that out??

      The odious and slimy feeding frenzy of the media trying to outdo each other is a f. ucking disgrace.

      Anyone want to call ME scum of the earth, because it disgusts me that ALL stations have devoted themselves to the floods and nothing but the floods?

      Because they care?? Rubbish!

      It is OBSCENE to do this. It is OBSCENE to care so little for global trauma if it is outside of America…or Australia. And it is BLOODY OBSCENE to attack anyone who dares to say so.

      Damn bloody right I’m angry! I am so damn sorry for those in Queensland.
      I am even more sorry that those who suffer; those who died in Pakistan, have been largely ignored.

      Now criticise me. Go ahead.

      I am more than ready and willing to respond to the so-called compassionate posters here.

    7. David

      (Reuters) – More than $800 million has been donated or pledged to help Pakistan’s flood victims, the foreign minister said in Sunday.

      Following is a list of major commitments and contributions for flood victims as of August 22.


      USA $102

      Saudi Arabia $65.3

      United Kingdom $64.76

      European Commission $54.15

      Australia $31.62

      U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund $16.60

      Norway $14.81

      Japan $14.44

      Germany $12.44

      Turkey $11.77

      Denmark $11.74

      Sweden $9.98

      China $9.26

      As those figures are only current to the end of August 2010 obviously more cash has been donated since. Interesting to see India does not appear on the list. In addition…..

      Red Cross Australia from (their web site ) has already reached:

      more than 1.8 million people with emergency food aid packages containing sugar, wheat flour, rice, tea, salt, ghee, chickpeas and mixed beans
      more than one million people with blankets, jerry cans, kitchen sets, buckets and stoves to assist them to restart their lives
      503,133 people with safe drinking water (more than one million litres of clean water daily) and sanitation services
      180,456 people with medical treatment or psychosocial support to assist them to deal with the effects of the floods
      105,000 families with emergency shelter kits or tents.
      Another 40,000 families will be helped in the coming months with cash grants to restart businesses, buy seed to sow crops or to rebuild homes.


      World Vision’s response
      At least 652,000 people have been assisted in northern and southern Pakistan. World Vision has provided food and emergency items such as tents, cooking sets, gas cylinders, bedding, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and water purification tablets to people in the Khyber Paktunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces.

      World Vision has also established Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) and Women and Infant Friendly Spaces (WAIFS), provided medical treatment, conducted hygiene and health promotion sessions, and installed water tanks in communal areas of villages.

      More than 55,000 people have received treatment via 17 medical centres and 5 mobile clinics in the Khyber Paktunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces. A diarrhoeal treatment centre has been set up in Sindh province.

      Fifteen Outpatient Therapeutic Programs have been established to treat malnourished children, who have been identified by World Vision health teams and registered in the OTP.

      Five Supplementary Feeding Programs have been established in the 3 provinces.

      Seven Women and Infant Friendly Spaces (WAIFS) established in KPK, Punjab and Sindh provinces. World Vision was the first organisation in the flood response to set up a Women and Infant Friendly Space of such scope. In these spaces, women have a private, comfortable area in which to interact with other women, receive sessions on health, hygiene, and nutrition for themselves and their infants, learn skills such as sewing and embroidery, and having a private space in which to breastfeed their child.

      Water & Sanitation and Hygiene
      Clean drinking water is being provided in IDP camps to approximately 15,000 households per day. Hand pumps and water tanks have been installed and water purification tablets distributed. Toilets and bathing facilities have been constructed. Hygiene committees have been established, with more than 300 hygiene promotion sessions conducted.

      Food distributions have occurred in Khyber Paktunkhwa and Punjab provinces since the start of the emergency response. Food distributions have also been ongoing in Sindh province since 1 September. More than 9,400 metric tonnes of food has been distributed to 96,297 families (652,639 people) across the three provinces.

      Sixteen Child-Friendly Spaces (across two provinces) have been established providing a safe, fun and structured place for children to attend. Some 2,718 children attend regular sessions at the CFSs. Thirteen CFS committees have been established across the three provinces.

      Relief Items
      Non-Food Item kits (such as kitchen sets, hygiene kits, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, tents/shelter kits) distributed to 28,851 households (approximately 200,042 people).

      Emergency Response Phase
      During the first three months of the emergency response, World Vision planned to help 300,000 people (40,000 households) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces. Since August, World Vision has assisted at least 652,000 people.

      World Vision continues to work closely and in partnership with the United Nations and other non-governmental organisations though the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum to ensure that effective, efficient, and necessary help is given to the children, women, and men affected by the floods.

      These stats are readily available on the net and of course many other aid agencies have been involved
      in providing ongoing assistance to Pakistan. This after 100’s of millions of dollars and materials were donated earlier in 2010 to the Haiti earthquake disaster.

      If there has been any reluctance to donate to the Pakistan Govt directly, perhaps there is some doubt as to whether the aid will reach those it is intended for.

      I post this for information purposes.

    8. Elan

      Now you listen to me PEEDDOZY you asinine little turd gargler!

      (Tame stuff mods-after scum of the earth and getting off …er, ‘ you’ big fat arse).

      Be grateful. I’ve trawled through your ineloquent scrawlings,-and did attempt to get through to that “warped thing you call a brain”.

      I failed of course-it isn’t even there; warped or otherwise.

      You have NO sympathy for ‘what happened in Pakistan’. NONE. You simply use that as an entré to further abuse.

      Take a look at your vitriol again-I mean if you can decipher it. Criticise others when you can do so from a reasonable moral standpoint. What is actually there?:

      Lousy grammar (that’s grammar…not Grandma you understand..), an obvious struggle with the English language in your zeal to attack.

      You are the epitome (that’s epitome not Epiphany) of a redneck. Unless you get what you want; when you want, you will denigrate those who don’t give it to you.

      You do realise that you do none of your fellow Queenslander’s a favour don’t you?

      I doubt they will want to be associated with someone who has a brain about the size of a pimple on the back of a bee’s knee!

      I remain disgusted at the media gorging. I remain disgusted NOT just at the callousness to those in Pakistan who have suffered and died,-but specifically, at the vilification of someone who had the damned guts to point out the double standard; the hypocrisy!

      BY COMPARISON this is negligible-BY COMPARISON. Comprendé?????

      I doubt that many people know, let alone remember that nearly three quarters of a million ( MILLION) Bengali’s lost their lives in the floods in Bangladesh, in the 1990’s).

      I wish this had not happened in Queensland, but I will not genuflect at the altar of suffering in the West is the only true suffering.

      Look forward to chatting with you DOZY. You won’t find me an easy target.


      …………..and look on the bright side. Crikey will let you get away with your horseshite.

      That’s democracy,…………or demockerazy to you.

    9. Liz45

      I think we should all take a deep breath. I have some sympathy for Marilyn’s and Elan’s comments, but perhaps now was not the time. A bit like those journalists asking Julia Gillard about the budget! Who gives a rats about the bloody surplus! Go tax a rich mining company – a fair share, instead of?? Surely we’re not so wound up that we can’t acknowledge people in this country who’ve been through a traumatic event, and it’s a long way from being over. How much does the US/Britain give to these tragedies?

      There’s so many awful realities, like the man on the roof with two kids and saw the toddler slip out of his wife’s arms while she was still in the water – I don’t know whether they saved the toddler. The mother was pregnant and had a miscarriage the next day. I don’t mind admitting that I cried. I like to think I can cry over that and for the people of Haiti and Pakistan and Brazil. On a pension, I can’t give much in a monetary sense, but compassion doesn’t need to have a race or colour, does it?

      While some parts of the media(or all of them, depending?) how about them using boats up and down that creates swell that is only causing more damage in peoples’ homes. The ‘wake’ created is pushing the water higher up in the homes, businesses etc. I heard a woman commenting to this effect, but nothing has changed!

      I’m waiting for the Insurance companies to start their disgraceful ‘back offs’ on a large scale. This nonsense over floods vs???is a nonsense. It bloody well rained, and the result is obvious. Who gives a ??? whether the water came via the Brisbane River or ???it’s just obscene. Those who have the ‘appropriate’ cover will be ok hopefully, but the poor little buggars without insurance(because they can’t afford it)or the ones who are under insured will be in an awful position.
      Then we’ll hear people whinge because govt monies or Telethon monies will go to rehouse them? Brings out the best and worst doesn’t it?

      I heard a bloke on the TV this morning? yesterday, talking about Hurrican Katrina and New Orleans, and was disgusted to learn, that bodies are still in the ‘mess’? At least we can take pride in the fact, that we don’t behave like that? Every effort is being made to find the missing, although sadly, some may never be found. I feel for their families and friends. How terribly sad that would be?

    10. Elan

      Sorry, I’m not letting such a comment go LIZ45. As an intelligent adult I don’t need to be told what is the proper time.

      MS got herself a fair hammering for daring to suggest that there were other FAR worse traumas on this globe that have not resulted in the disgusting hysterical over coverage by the media.

      The tap on the hand is interesting LIZ;-have I or Marilyn called anyone the scum of the earth/ tosspot/ moron/that warped thing you call a brain?

      I can clearly take it,-that isn’t the point.
      The point is that it does not do to go against the flow (NO pun), does it?
      The point is that being hammered in such a way is OK for those who don’t agree with the mainstream thought?

      I did not come in to defend MS,-she is more than capable of doing that herself. I came in to defend the principle,-not so much of this catch all thing: ‘free speech’,- but in the right to ask questions- however directly,-that goes against the mainstream thought.

      Spin it any way you like,-but what you are saying effectively is..not now. Frankly that is the whole point. What is happening NOW.

      The media have (are) behaved disgracefully. They have jostled with each other for ‘pole position’. In an endeavour to be first up, we have had 24 hour coverage of this.

      That is outrageous. Just so that you and others get my position clear;-I cannot watch this without crying. That’s the truth. But I have wept a lot recently. My cousin in London has had 37 extended family members drowned in Pakistan-14 of these were children. 3 were babies under 1 year old. These were 37 of many many, thousands.

      She is numb. Just completely dulled down. When I spoke to her husband late last year,-I could hear her moaning like an animal in the background.

      And you tell me not now.

      I’ll tell you WHY you say not now: because the media went into an hysterical frenzy-( a friend in Sydney has had contact with a mutual friend in Queensland. She (the friend) is so distressed that her children -and other cannot get any respite from the footage.

      Did it occur to any of you that even the victims of these floods were force fed more and more footage,-when they knew what was happening—-they still are,-they can’t get any relief in terms of some type of programme that will take their minds of this.

      Our stupid hack tabloid sensationalist media will not let them. It is a f.ucking bloody disgrace,-because it is NOT being done out of compassion.

      But: no one must say anything must they?
      No one should even suggest other suffering (as in the current hundreds of flood deaths in Brazil).

      Because if they do, they will get what Marilyn has got; what I have got.

      And you will post that our timing is off!

    11. Liz45

      @ELAN – I had no intention to be insensitive to your family’s trauma, and I am so sorry about that – I can only imagine how that poor woman is feeling – demented with pain and grief.
      I think the commercial TV, particularly ch 7 has been awful. I could not believe that they spent hours on the whole thing this evening? I had the sound down as I was on the phone, but I thought it was over the top – they just went on and on. It’s different for the ABC as they’re the official emergency network. They didn’t carry on like ch 7.

      ABC for kids has still been on, and there’s other programs on for adults – particularly with digital TV. What about DVD’s or?

      I’m not the insensitive bloody media anyway. Why not ring them up and complain? Or write to the channel. So, what you’re saying is, if I have one family member or friend who’s dying of cancer, I shouldn’t feel bad or mention it, because another person may have two friends who are ill? Or someone who died in a car accident had a worse death, so I should shut up? I don’t make the rules about what’s on the bloody TV! When I get pissed off, I change channels or turn it off! There’s always music or the radio; whatever happened to reading a book, or talking?

      I’ve had my own little ‘crisis’? My waterbed sprung a leak! It’s been a damned nuisance, not to mention extra costs that I hadn’t planned for, but next to the people in Qld it’s nothing, so I’ve kept that in mind. There’s always someone worse off, but when it happens to us/you/me it’s how it affects us that seems important at the time. My arms are killing me due to lugging the damned thing around etc, but then I think, at least I’ve got arms? Always someone worse off!

      I apologize!

    12. Elan

      Thanks at least for some understanding of what I have been trying to say.

      LIZ makes a valid point though;-it is NOT a contest ( I doubt anyone thought it was). The God awful floods that have affected those in Brazil/Bangladesh/Pakistan are compounded by the things that LOVETB has written.
      It leaves many of these people completely without hope, many are still living on narrow sandbars.

      I don’t feel in any way conciliatory to some of the commenter’s here, but I know how I would be feeling now,-if all I had worked for; all that provided the ‘walls’ of my life; was destroyed. I would not be able to handle it; I would not be able to cope.

      That I can say. Other than I would also like to go up there and help clean up. Nature can wreak havoc, but manpower can clean most of that havoc up. Without question, I would be ‘tooled up’ , and go out everyday to help.

      I could not even donate to the Pakistan flood victims.

      I refuse to have cards/will not make online transactions/do not have a cheque account.

      So the three figure sum I have, still remains. How many of you understand that that money will go to Pakistan;-not Queensland?

      I don’t know….maybe I can get this money channelled through relatives. I should try harder.

      ( Liz; I cannot relate to distant relatives; so I cannot claim the grief of those who were closer to them, like Miriam. The tiniest of them, Ayesha was to have only three weeks on Earth before she was dragged from her mothers arms. I hope she went quickly. Her mother is with her).

      It is all so bloody sad.

    13. Liz45

      @ELAN – The whole point is, that Pakistan as with Haiti and Hurrican Katrina(and sadly too many others) are another indicator of how the West has treated these countries for at least decades, and in some cases longer. Chile & El Salvador have had their traumas for example, and a lot of the blame for either the mud slides and inferior buildings over years(although Chile has improved in recent decades – hence the reason why, even though their earthquake was stronger, they lost less people than Haiti did)or just the lack of money. The US has most to be ashamed of. They removed a democratically elected President (Astrides?) twice, only because he was going to care for his people, and plow funds back into needy areas such as health, education etc. Shock! Horror, the US multinationals couldn’t have that!

      In Indonesia etc much of the extra damage was caused by the removal of trees from too many areas, leaving no basic gound structure capable of coping with the awful amount of water. El Salvador suffered the same in several earthquakes etc they’ve had in recent yrs, resulting in death and suffering. Hurricane Katrina is still testimony to the racist culture in the US. If that tragedy had happened in Florida or ??? the response would’ve been quicker and a different reality would be in evidence now. The US wouldn’t have used that tragedy as the means of ridding ‘blacks’ out of that State! They’re doing it in New Orleans! If Bush hadn’t taken funds from levies etc Hurrican Katrina wouldn’t have caused so much damage and of course, loss of life!

      I’d have thought that you would’ve read enough of my posts to know, that I’m well aware of those other horrific, sad and terrifying situations, and the all too frequent responses, based on racism and capitalism. If they were the ‘hub’ of capitalist activity, they’d be ‘up and running’ as soon as possible. I mention these things as I believe they’re relevant to the reasons why there’s such a stark contrast by too many countries to human tragedies – the countries bemoaning the “tragedy” are frequently responsible for the damage – not the initial earthquake of couse, but the loss of life etc.

      I don’t think anyone in this country should be criticized for showing compassion for the tragedies here, which have touched every state except SA to date! WA has had its bushfires, thankfully without loss of life – the others have floods!
      I class myself as a compassionate person, and also one who is politically aware, particularly about the role played by the US in the countries where the people have suffered so much tragedy. I think I’ve mentioned previously the fact, that the US invaded Pakistan, but as there was no ‘drum roll’ it’s not counted as such. the end result is the same – too many civilians have been killed via drones – more to date by Obama than all the yrs of Bush! I just think you should aim your anger at the ones who are REALLY responsible – I’m damned sure I’m not! In fact, I get criticised for being ‘anti American’ on many occasions!

      Incidently, I’m sickened by the promos channel 9 is doing today – ‘we’ve bought you ??? and ??? and who are we? ACA’? How disgusting! Showing traumatised people living their private horrors over and over is gross! They’re like vultures picking off the last bit of meat on a carcuss.
      In fact, I’m going to stop talking about it, and leave a message on their website!

      The poor people in the shelters were in a bind. It was raining for so long, and the kids had to remain inside – cooped up and bored. The TVs I saw on were showing the floods, as I’m sure many adults were interested in other suburbs etc for family and friends. They didn’t have any other means of keeping up with how they were. No phones, no mobiles and no computers etc! Not much choice? I think I’d have been watching too! But I would’ve been listening and/or watching the ABC, not the commercial channels! They disgust me!

    14. Elan

      1) “I’d have thought that you would’ve read enough of my posts to know ***,…………………I class myself as a compassionate person, …………”

      EXACTLY. I knew that! That’s why I’m astonished at your little lecture. (Like it or lump it. It is a lecture).

      “I don’t think anyone in this country should be criticized for showing compassion for the tragedies here, which have touched every state except SA to date! …….”

      I’m in SA. Are you suggesting something LIZ?? …………..’criticized for showing compassion’???

      I take it that you accept I’m not going to criticise myself? I showed compassion for those in Queensland (where the main focus has been). Take a look.

      Was that not enough for you?

      “I just think you should aim your anger at the ones who are REALLY responsible……”


      “Why not ring them up and complain? Or write to the channel. So, what you’re saying is, if I have one family member or friend who’s dying of cancer, I shouldn’t feel bad or mention it, because another person may have two friends who are ill? Or someone who died in a car accident had a worse death, so I should shut up? I don’t make the rules about what’s on the bloody TV! When I get pissed off, I change channels or turn it off! There’s always music or the radio; whatever happened to reading a book, or talking? “

      Anger is a very subjective thing isn’t it?


      2) OILY MOULTING: I’ve gone back over several posts. MS-and yours in particular!

      *** You are taking the moral high ground with me ?!?!

      I do like a man with a sense of humour;- you are joking aren’t you??:

      “……now back to your latte you troll”

      ” Haha Marilyn. Trolls rule!! Trolls for the win!! That’s the best piece of trolling I’ve seen. Pointless comments, a tryhard & pathetic guilt trip about Pakistan and Haiti, insults against people who have lost everything……. I hope you’ve got a silly, smug look on your face because you’ve earnt it………

      Crikey make a new Award – Troll of the year in crikey comments. ………. Now why don’t you leave these dirty, filthy shores of ours and go take up residence in the comfy hills of Pakistan or the outskirts of Port-a-Prince and help them out.”

      “Marilyn come to the streets of Brisbane and see for yourself. Get out from your mums basement and come look at peoples faces who have nothing left but the muddy clothes on their back. Talk to them about what comes next (while telling them to donate to the Pakistan flood relief!!). …Come see a city full of citizens panicing and stripping the supermarket shelves bare for no reason other than fear. ………..
      ………..your pointless inappropriate dribble. When someone tells your thier son is still missing you can tell them about Pakistan or Haiti and all the missing sons over there…….
      ………Way to soon for garbage like that………

      . ……….Your a 1st class troll and should be ashamed of yourself. Stop spitting in our faces while the water is still rising and people are still dying……..”

      ……But laying a guilt trip on them isn’t going to drum up support for you cause….”

      ……….talking about ‘guilt trips’…….A two way street I think……….surely YOU can see that? ( I know the answer to that one!!)

      I give you the piece dé résistance:

      “but you obviously love an anonymous online flame war, spending hours compiling your long winded responses complete with bold, underlines, emphasis, tryhard wit (correcting someone’s gramma is laughable in an online flame war) etc.”

      Hypocrisy thy name is OILY!!!

      Long-winded enough for you OILY??

      ( I haven’t corrected your grammaR..!! THEN you would see me ‘spending hours’ !!)

      ..and, I will avail myself of the text type that Crikey makes available. It’s not difficult….hmmmm?


      I look forward to further discussion.

    15. Elan

      On Friday I posted this:

      “I did not come in to defend MS,-she is more than capable of doing that herself.”

      ……………I know you struggle OILY,-your posts clearly show that, but surely you can read?

      WHY should I now do a 360 and answer to you? Why?

      I defend the right the right to hold a view that opposes that of others, but specifically I will strongly defend the right to hold the view that opposes mainstream thought. And at this time the mainstream thought is Queensland and now the Eastern Seaboard floods.

      This may surprise you, because you seem to struggle with basic concepts:- I agree with the concern and compassion expressed over the fallout of those floods, I cannot imagine holding any other view. But :-

      I object to the vilification of those who dare to say anything that is seen as not supportive of Australians; and only Australians.

      I object to the fact that one HAS to feel this is THE CATASTROPHE,- or one is some kind of a national traitor!

      I object to the fact that facilities to provide assistance are prolific, yet when an utterly massive catastrophe happened in Pakistan, no lousy disgusting bank organised a donate facility.

      I object to the fact that the Australian was/is negligent in its failure to show what is currently happening in Brazil where over 600 people have died.

      In my view this was not given the reportage it should have had, because the vile hack media we have in this country were not only determined to get themselves nominated for a bloody Walkley,- they were also determined that nothing must detract from giving sympathy to Australians by Australians.

      We need to grow up. We are part of this global village, and we should show compassion to others who suffer/have suffered FAR worse trauma than us.

      It has been suggested to me that yes we can do that but just not now. That is ludicrous; and self centred. And it is precisely what I object to and what MS clearly objects to.

      I will continue to respond to any posts critical of my right to hold the opinion I have repeatedly expressed,-and have had to repeatedly defend.

      I will defend the right of anyone to hold a differing opinion even if it is expressed in a manner to which you object!!

      DON’T attempt to suggest that I have objected to sympathy shown to those in Queensland. I emphatically have not done so. To the contrary,-I have shown sympathy also,-but it very clear to me that to suggest sympathy for others suffering during this period is not required; not understood;- and is even attacked!

      Let me turn that around the other way and tell you that I think that is bloody disgraceful.

      One thing though is standing out like a neon sign. The consistent attacking has come from you rednecks. Yes rednecks.

      People who DO struggle with grammar and who use the kind of terminology I have quoted above, and in an earlier post.

      MANY here have expressed anger,-it IS a very emotive topic, but they have either put up an objective without invective-or they have left it alone.

      You?? You are determined to ‘beat me down’ , by repeatedly attacking me or Marilyn Shepherd. You’ve failed. You will continue to fail.

      No amount of abusive stuff will change my opinion, but if you want to continue…


    16. Liz45

      @ELAN – I recall after the Tsunami, that the ordinary people in this country gave most generously. In fact, the ‘ordinary’ people, as opposed to the Govt/s gave more money than some countries did. As has been posted here before, there has been lots of assistance by Australia and Australians.

      When you refer to ‘the Australian’ do you mean the newspaper or the individual person? I haven’t purchased a Murdoch paper since 1975 – no, wrong, I bought six copies of one afternoon paper once, as it had an article about radiation fallout from a nuclear test. Murdoch’s papers are grot, just like him. I wouldn’t wrap my fish and chips in one of his rags!

      For a country with a small population, our generosity has been a source of pride to me. Of course we could contribute a higher percentage than we do now, but per capita, we’ve outdone the US at times. When you consider, that it’s usually those who have the least who’ve donated the most, and do so for their fellow Australians too. Ask some of the notable charities. They don’t even ring people in the wealthy suburbs – their greatest contributors in Sydney for example, come from the West – not Vauclause or the North Shore! I read an article about this only a matter of weeks ago.

      Sadly, while I don’t claim to be an expert on Pakistan, they don’t do a bad job of killing each other off. I’ve forgotten the number of assasinations etc in my lifetime, not to mention the mass killings etc. There’s a big gap between the haves and have nots, so why don’t they look after their own people? I don’t think the powerful are doing it tough, are they? The Australian Military had medical people in Pakistan for some time; they might still be there?

    17. Elan

      “ELAN – I recall after the Tsunami, that the ordinary people in this country gave most generously. In fact, the ‘ordinary’ people, as opposed to the Govt/s gave more money than some countries did. As has been posted here before, there has been lots of assistance by Australia and Australians. “

      ……………….come now LIZ45, it’s not a contest….

      “When you refer to ‘the Australian’ do you mean the newspaper or the individual person?”

      Explain. Exactly what part of what I’ve said are you referring to. Please quote. Tell me where I have said that Australians don’t donate. GOT IT: I see the passage you are referring to. I omitted the word ‘Press’. **

      …….I have to admit, I did wonder how long your compassionate veneer would last:-

      “Sadly, while I don’t claim to be an expert on Pakistan, they don’t do a bad job of killing each other off. I’ve forgotten the number of assasinations etc in my lifetime, not to mention the mass killings etc. “

      Don’t be sad. You are most definitely NOT an expert. And clearly not one on Pakistan.

      This is what we’ve come down to is it? This vicious piece of garbage.

      Not only is it incorrect considering the population the size of Pakistan,- but what is vastly more important is WHY you have written this.

      Do you really have to get down into the gutter to try to make a dent in what I’ve tried to say? We are talking about floods aren’t we?

      …………so what are you suggesting? Why have you put this? There can only be one reason, or you would not have written it, because it is irrelevant to floods.

      ‘Pakistanis deserve it because they are violent’. You ******* *****!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Yet more of your r.acist filth:

      “There’s a big gap between the haves and have nots, so why don’t they look after their own people?

      There is a huge gap between these two groups here,.. you have to wonder why the have-nots are even expected to donate don’t you??

      As for a presence in Pakistan, medical or otherwise,-there will always be a foreign presence there,-because if its disgusting rulers cooperate (or historically not!!! That is how I came into being!),-with the West, Pakistan is a VERY important strategic ‘gate way’.

      Your post would have to be the worst example of vicious nastiness I have seen on any discussion forum on this topic. THE WORST.

      What was it LIZ45?;-did this:- “It has been suggested to me that yes we can do that but just not now. That is ludicrous; and self centred. And it is precisely what I object to and what MS clearly objects to.”, cause your spew of hatred???

      Because I was not calling you a redneck. Not then. I am now.

      **That omission led to this foul invective??

      My God.

    18. Liz45

      Oh for god’s sake! I, along with others, most of the country in fact, showed the normal human emotion that most people feel, watching a tragedy unfold, that resulted in the deaths of human beings, including little kids.

      You went on and on, making me and others out to be a cross between Saddam Hussein and the Chainsaw Massacres. You attacked, abused etc, but when I just suggested, ‘hang on, let’s remain calm about this’ etc, off you went again. I think you should go back and read all of your posts, and the language, denigration and vitriole used. I’m neither a racist nor a redneck, but a person who felt/feel terribly sad for other human beings. I’ve cried for many people on the TV who’ve suffered in a similar or worse manner around the world – whether it be via a natural disaster or the mindless use of automatic rifles or bombs or landmines or? I just don’t believe that Tom, Dick, Harry or Liz are responsible for the tragedies around the globe. I’m not responsible for the action or inactions of govts around the world, and have a history of speaking out, on many occasions.

      I still feel sad about what happened to first those in Qld & NSW, and now the poor people of Victoria. When I can, I will contribute to the Appeals in order to help them in some small way. I and others should not have been made out to only care for Aussies, or because we didn’t castigate the govts involved, then we’re awful people and worse than scum. I reject that, as others did. If you’re angry and fired up, that’s your right, but I won’t be made out to be scum because I don’t TOTALLY agree with your view. I’d have thought it was only natural, that people would reach out to those in their own country who’ve lost everything – some have lost parents and kids!

      Now, I’m going to dig over my little garden plot, and put in a few more native plants.
      I’ve already said how sorry I am about your extended family members – that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t feel for Aussies too. Thankfully, the family members/friends escaped the floods, of which I’m most relieved, not guilty, relieved!

    19. Elan

      “@Andrew Crook – What part of “I’m sorry” do you find difficult to utter? You were wrong. “

      Oh for God’s sake LIZ45???

      More hypocrisy!

      I suggest LIZ that when you cover yourself in s.hite you take a shower, not go for a swim in it!

      I have every right to express a view on a discussion forum.
      I have every right to take on Government and Media-and other opinions.

      Every right;-as do you. But it has f.uck all to do with that. I know it; you know it. You tried to condescend. (Here’s where I’ll take rednecks any day, over patronising s.hit!).

      It didn’t work; so you lost your temper and resorted to r.acist remarks such as this:

      “Sadly, while I don’t claim to be an expert on Pakistan, they don’t do a bad job of killing each other off. I’ve forgotten the number of assasinations etc in my lifetime, not to mention the mass killings etc. “

      -remarks that can only have been put on a discussion about floods, to suggest that Pakistanis somehow deserve their lot!!

      Vicious and vile!, and compounded by further nasty jibes.

      ……………………….all because I said that we are part of the global village; that we should, even at this time, be showing footage and compassion for comparable and even worse disasters.
      I was and remain critical of lack of footage or coordinated efforts to be able to donate-; just DONATE to Pakistan OR Brazil.

      Yet, numerous facilities are in place to donate to those affected by the floods here. (Which btw is fair enough).

      And, – DIRECTLY because of that, the xenophobic hatred has come in. You have started to treat me like a foreigner who is criticising ‘your’ country.

      You could not have demonstrated more graphically what I have been saying, and what MS was saying.

      The bile that has spilled out of you is astonishing! Yet you go to another thread……and tell an article writer how HE should behave.

      “…….some have lost parents and kids!. I know, we’ve lost a little 8 year old yesterday?, and the 13 year old and his mum are being laid to rest today. We all grieve equally for loss,… even in the Third World.

      Your invective is because I refuse to see Australian loss as more important than any other in this world.

      Enjoy your gardening , lay off the manure though. I reckon it has plenty enough already.

      ………………….. sorry is difficult to ‘utter’ isn’t it LIZ45? Remember that next time you expect it of others…

      NO platitude apology about my distant relatives amounts to a flying f.uck, when you can go on to write the nasty filth that I have quoted.

    20. Liz45

      OK! SORRY! SORRY! I said it earlier, a lot earlier, but it mattered not a fig. Take your own advice. You weren’t gracious enough to acknowledge, and it made me mad. I still don’t believe that the criticism of our govt was fair. We’ve shown over years how we assist others, perhaps not enough, but we do. In fact, we’re often first! You show me instances where we have not been generous. Yes our overseas aide should be higher, but the time to bring it up(in my view) is perhaps not when so many people who might read this blog are under heaps of stress and grief.

      Pakistan does have a volitile political environment – that was stating a fact. It didn’t mean, that those people deserved to die, it was out of frustration at your attitude. Our attitude to indigenous people and the thousands who died via colonisation, and are still suffering and dying too young! Why didn’t you mention govt attitudes to them?

      I tell you what, when my sister died suddenly due to a car accident, I’m not ashamed to admit, that it was HER death that pre-occupied my priorities – the same with my little Mum, or the 10 women friends I’ve lost from cancer – 5 from breast cancer. Call it a form of selfishness, but it’s human nature; regardless of how it happens, the deaths of those closest to us are the most keenly felt – that doesn’t mean our compassion ends with them! That was all I was trying to say at the outset – not good enough for you! You had to nitpick every morsel and attack me with it!
      My friend’s mother is dying as we speak? Shouldn’t she grieve for her differently than to a stranger? Of course she will, and so will her siblings!

      We all grieve equally for loss,… even in the Third World.
      Well, aren’t people lucky to have you speaking on their behalf? How the hell do you know that?How many millions in the Third World are there, and you know how they ALL FEEL? And you know how they all grieve! That’s not a patronising thing to say I suppose!

      Anyway, I’m done! I said sorry days ago, I meant it, but that wasn’t good enough. OK, I accept that!

      So, because of this, I’ve lost all future rights to a point of view – on anything? Go back and read my first post about this – I acknowledged some sympathy, agreement with yours and SM points of view – but I didn’t COMPLETELY agree, UNCONDITIONALLY and so I was a target for your anger.

      Manure? Chook poo has too much phosphorus for native plants, so I just used my compost bin contents??

    21. Elan

      Not much gardening I see! (I did precisely the same thing-and have come inside completely buggered).

      “SORRY! SORRY!” Have you ever had your fella ‘apologise’ to you saying “OK! OK! I’m SORRY! alright??, I’m SORRY!!!!!

      Veeerry sincere. Just like your little offering.

      “Pakistan does have a volatile political environment – that was stating a fact. It didn’t mean, that those people deserved to die, it was out of frustration at your attitude. “

      ‘Out of frustration at my attitude’?? WHAT?!! You would put such a thing on a discussion about floods that significantly -has NO bloody relevance to those floods-,-and you say it was because of frustration at my attitude!!!

      Are you fecking serious?? I mean it. Are you joking?

      Are you so damned twisted up with hate that you now add to your vile ranting with this, in response to my view that we all grieve loss:

      Well, aren’t people lucky to have you speaking on their behalf? How the hell do you know that?How many millions in the Third World are there, and you know how they ALL FEEL? And you know how they all grieve! That’s not a patronising thing to say I suppose!

      Do you attempt to put out a fire by throwing petrol on it by any chance, LIZ45???

      Have you the first idea of how cruel you are being? Have you?

      I took your advice, I read through ALL these posts……, would you care to revise your statement about MY vitriol??

      No. Of course not!

      And did you think I missed your immature little tactic LIZ?:

      “You went on and on, making me and others……” (I won’t bother to quote the rest it is too damn childish!

      But that bit? Such a familiar call to arms! The tactic of there’s ‘us’ (plural), and ‘you’ (single). How long since you were in kindergarten?

      (And btw my going “on and on” really wasn’t required was it? I HAD to shut up!)

      The thing is;- you don’t decide that. Just get used to the fact. You don’t decide.

      Geez! This is all twaddle!!!

      You have spat a very vicious little dummy;-because I would not accept that you were right, and I was wrong.

      That’s it. Nothing else. THAT resulted in your selective compassion evaporating,-and the spew began. THAT SIMPLE.

      And regrettably LIZ45, I have to tell you that you have left it FAR too late to try emotional blackmail on me. NOW I have no comment to make on what you relate your last post.

      My view of you has changed irrevocably. I had no idea that you would plumb such nasty depths to make your point.

    22. Liz45

      @ELAN – Yes, I did do quite a bit of gardening, then I washed my car, and now it’s starting to rain.

      I had a bad fall last week – tripped over the hose and went down very heavily on my right side – my breathing was crook for a few days – probably bruised a couple of ribs, as well as my pride. My waterbed sprung a leak and I’ve been sleeping on a blow up bed on the floor – not bad though, at least I have somewhere.

      Sorry that your view of me has changed. I don’t see what I said at the outset to set you off. I wasn’t being unkind – but them I just lost it. There you have it. I just thought you were going over the top, and lumping me in with all the bastards who cause the impoverished misery in the first place – that’s not me!

      I also had a thought while cleaning the car. How about the govt of Pakistan? If they hadn’t spent so much money on nuclear weapons over the last 20+ years, the citizens would possibly be living under better conditions. How many $$$billions has that cost?If Mushareff and others hadn’t sucked up to the US at the expense of their own people, the misery probably would’ve been lessened. The Military in these countries doesn’t go without? Noticed that? The poor people aren’t to blame of course, but bloody well neither am I! Aim some of your anger at the Musharefs of this world! No relief or homes for the people, but they have an arsenal of nuclear weapons though! As does India!

      A similar criticism could be said of some other countries – dictators selling off the countries forests etc, grabbing the goodies for themselves and their families, and when it rains, the mountains just slide down to the bottom killing all in their wake. Indonesia is guilty of this also – we supported the despot there for years during the 1960’s – the poor are the ones who suffer. Billionaires, living like kings while their people die, either of hunger, disease or natural disasters. What’s the wealth of the Soharto family?

      Cuba on the other hand, suffered similar levels of earthquakes than others, but their priorities were much different – the people were put first for decades – they are also the only country recognised by the UN as being self sufficient! Not wealthy by any means, but they’re also the first to offer assistance, and they’re training doctors from East Timor and other places at this time.

      Hugo Chavez from Venezuela handed over the presidential palace to at least 20 families – could be more! Impressive! Different attitude to his people! Of course, he and Cuba are demonised – but not by me! I’m not the evil one in this tragedy. Imram Khan probably agrees with me! Interesting thought!

    23. Liz45

      Oh yes, my “fella”? If only he had apologised – in any sense, just once, would’ve been reason to celebrate. In fact, if I had a dollar for every whack around the head I’ve received by his hand/s, I’d have enough for a new ‘bladder’ for my waterbed – $230, and then some, after 20 yrs. His response when I asked why he was doing what he did(hit me or abused me or ridiculed me etc) was ‘it’s the only language you understand’? Maybe that’s the problem! Brain damage? We all know about ‘shaking baby syndrome’ and latest research revealed the long term damage done to football players via being hit/tackled etc around the head? Why, US footballers have a shorter life expectancy than non players. Perhaps I don’t take criticism very well these days – no, criticism I can handle, it’s ‘ganging up on me’ that I find difficult to handle! My problem, not yours?

      A few yrs ago(20 yrs after I’d left the marriage)I challenged him re not telling our kids the truth – he then proceeded to threaten me again – ‘he could make life difficult for me’ – (bad mouthing me I assumed) in front of his current partner who sadly proved to be as bad as him in the sense, that she told me I was equally to blame. I’m still trying to work out what part of the house/s she lived in to know that – never knew of her existence? Apparently, being 30 cms shorter and at least 25 kilos lighter, maybe being pregnant or just weaker is still a fair contest? How come I was the only one to suffer concussion/s or require a brain scan?

      Anyway, the rain’s stopped, I’m off to set up my automatic sprinkler system, or maybe repot some plants. Therapy! Neil Diamond on the radio – something’s going OK today!

    24. Elan

      Set ME off!!! Surely you jest!!

      My Gawd! You are now obsessed with ‘cutting the suit to fit the cloth’. How much longer do we have to go on this global tour of yours, to show all these ‘orrible damn countries, to prove that Australia is the finest; the best; suffers the most; is the most generous!!

      For crying out loud!! that is cultural cringe that I’ve just mentioned elsewhere. Why the .uck do you feel the need to prove Australia’s superiority by bagging other countries?

      Why are you going on about Musharraf? He hasn’t led Pakistan since 08. Pakistan hasn’t had a decent leader since Bhutto…senior. (In my view).

      God! why am I bothering to discuss this with you? How far do you intend to go in your zeal to force me to your way of thinking?

      My family and Imran’s were friends- I knew, rather than know him. I’ll promise you this; Imran Khan would take a bloody dim view of what you’ve been saying here.

      And just get off it with suggesting MY anger. You have twisted yourself up in such bloody rage that you’ve said some pretty vile things.

      Think about that. What would have happened here if I had said about Australia what you have said about Pakistan, and it’s people.

      If I even inferred here that Australians deserved it because they have behaved in a certain manner. That you would not know if Australians felt grief because you can’t speak for all of them?

      I would have been verbally lynched; and rightly so.

      Damn right I’ve changed my view of you.

    25. Elan

      Oh dear oh Lor!! Pressed down on an exposed nerve did I?

      You’ve tried and tried and TRIED to force me to your way of thinking.

      You tried patronising.
      You tried r.acism (we’re back to that again I see).
      You tried emotional blackmail.
      Now you’ve binned the whole lot, and decided to go with good ol’ reliable vulgarity!!

      Your credibility has been down in the sewer for a good few of your posts now LIZ45. So I would suggest that ignorance is in the eye of the beholder !!!

      You didn’t even have the nous to see what I meant about manure.
      You didn’t even have the nous to see what I meant about ‘discussing this with you’ (missed that one completely!!).
      You can’t even spell assassination FFS!! Use the bleeding spellchecker!

      ( Perhaps she thought?? Now who is the mind reader? Was there not even a dot on your radar that Marilyn knows damn well that I;-nor she, do not need the support of others to make a point???

      ………….Marilyn NEVER ‘backs off’!! You should know by now that M. Shepherd says her piece;-might add a little to it-then buggers off to pastures new!!
      ……………….you haven’t the nous to see that either,..er, what were you saying about ignorance?)

      You haven’t so much as made a dent in me LIZ45, and that has infuriated you. Don’t play the innocent, with: ‘ I only meant’ .

      Sleep well, (but pop a Valium first).

      Its been quite a learning curve hasn’t it. VERY enlightening.

      Now lets see if we are done.

      (And all bloody good thanks to Crikey for allowing this to blow itself out).


      ( Hey LIZ!! Just think how much time we would have saved if you had not ‘given a s.hit what I did’ sometime back. You wouldn’t have needed the Valium…………)

    26. Elan


      I said that no bank had a donate/Pakistan floods facility. But I have just rung the Commonwealth Bank to check, (you could have been correct). You were not.

      And to your next post………..Red X ? nope.

      UNICEF is the main coordinating body. Several other charities have a facility. ALL are by credit card.

      What you have done LIZ45 in your incessant sniping zeal to make me the ‘bad guy’ , is to inadvertently come up trumps!!!!

      (“I don’t know….maybe I can get this money channelled through relatives. I should try harder.”)

      I did try harder. You engendered that!

      I have a BSB and Account no for UNICEF. I can pay into that at my bank!!

      My will be done’! This pm or domani am.

      Thank-you LIZ!

      Now……make mileage of that. You’ve tried every other sniping tactic in the book. YOU have made little reference to the Queensland floods in your invective collective latter posts. You spent so much time concentrating on denigrating Pakistan and its people.

      For a ‘compassionate’ person, this has been far from your finest hour.

      I cannot even imagine the loss of home, and the loss of loved ones;- I cannot comprehend its depth and its pain for Queenslanders or for Brazilians, or for Pakistanis.

      The measure of compassion is not achieved by diminishing one to elevate the other. Loss and grief are measured equally amongst (most?) all of us.

      Someone like you ( a strong-willed opinionated woman) is in no position to judge me (a strong-willed opinionated woman),-WE will repeatedly clash with others because we hold the views we do; and we express them strongly. And because of that we will clash with each other. It’s inevitable.

      I will NEVER make my point by bagging an entire country. But by God! I will hammer those who are responsible for making decisions or the lack of them, that might-just MIGHT prevent catastrophes or minimise them. These are the same people who then capitalise on ‘compassion’ to show what great people they are.

      NOW? Are you done with the cattiness, or do we go on?

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