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Author Topic: Australia by Tibrogargan January 2007 - present and 155216+ views later!  (Read 548872 times)
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« Reply #940 on: December 16, 2010, 10:31:59 PM »

Yes that was a surprising crowd considering not many people here admit to watching Oprah's shows.  And the whole week has been a circus with Oprah being feted and swooned over everywhere she goes.  It did not help when we learned that we (the Australian taxpayers) footed the bill of $4 million Aust to bring Oprah here, without any of the other perks she was given, such as luxury accommodation and trips to all the major tourist spots.

But they assure us it will mean a flood of American tourists after her shows air in the US in January.

BTW let me know when you plan to arrive and I will meet you at the airport.  

Tibro, as a matter of fact, it is on my bucket list . . . for real.
So terribly sad about the asylum seekers . . . makes me cry for what I take for granted.
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« Reply #941 on: December 24, 2010, 06:57:16 PM »

There has been a lot of press about the boat tragedy and inquiries and investigations are schedule.  Also there has been talk of charging the boat crew and it has been rumoured that the captain abandoned the ship at the first sight of problems, leaving the passengers to fend for themselves.  There have been commemorative and memorial ceremonies held and some of the survivors have been processed and are now here in Australia, most likely in detention centres awaiting accommodation, while the others are being investigated as to their eligibility for admission to our country.

Surely it has to be safer, cheaper and easier to apply for immigration status through the normal channels.
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« Reply #942 on: December 24, 2010, 07:02:52 PM »

Merry Christmas to all the Monkeys.

A message from our Prime Minister which seems to cover all we would wish for ourselves and our loved ones at this time :

Merry Christmas from Julia Gillard

    * Julia Gillard
    * From: Herald Sun
    * December 25, 2010 12:00AM

IN the Gillard family, Christmas is a time for tradition.

Everyone has the same job on Christmas Day. I always get to peel the potatoes and carrots.

We eat the same food in the same order. Dad tells the same jokes!

We get a little older each year, and the presents for my niece and nephew have changed as the years go by, but not too much else does.

I hope this Christmas you are able to share your own special traditions with people who you love and who love you in return.

Whether that’s time in church, or with your family, or at the cricket or on the beach, or helping others, I hope this Christmas is a special one.

Christmas is also a time when we reflect on what’s been.

After lunch on Christmas Day, I think many of us have that quiet moment where we look around and think, "all in all, we’re lucky to have each other".

Certainly, that’s how I feel about our country this Christmas.

We are all Australians, all people of this place, and as a people, as a nation, we have got so much to be grateful for.

Through it all, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. We are still lucky.

For some I know Christmas this year is a sad time.

We lost a lot of brave Australians this year: from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, from the 2nd Commando Regiment, from the Special Air Service Regiment, from 6 RAR.

They died for us and I know every Australian has a special thought for their partners and children, their families, and their mates, this Christmas. We don’t forget.

Just as Christmas reminds us of the good things we have, it can be a tough time for some among us. So if your Christmas is a sadder one this year because of family problems, or illness, or the loss of a loved one, I hope you know that you’re never alone.

2010 has been an eventful year in our country’s life, but above all else, we shouldn’t forget the most wonderful thing that happened this year.

The drought broke in the eastern states at last.

Of course, it’s never easy on the land, and I know that now it’s flooding which is making life hard in many places even today, but we’re grateful for some of the rain at least.

We think of the farmers still in drought. We wish some of the rain would come your way now too.

I want to say something to Australians who have to work at Christmas to serve and protect us - our police and fire fighters, our ambulance officers and nurses, emergency personnel and of course our troops abroad. So many people sacrifice their Christmas Day to make life better for others. It’s hard to think of a more generous Christmas present than that. Thank you.

Finally, whether you’re going around the corner or across the country please drive safely. Don’t make next Christmas a sad anniversary.

For all Australians, my wish is that this Christmas, wherever you are in our country or overseas, you have the chance to do those special things that mean Christmas for you, with people who are special to you.

I wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/merry-christmas-from-julia-gillard/story-e6frf7l6-1225976010750
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« Reply #943 on: December 24, 2010, 10:53:41 PM »

Tibro what a wonderful message from your Prime Minister. May I add my wishes for a wonderful holiday season for you and yours.
I also want to thank you for all your work on the Zahra thread.
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« Reply #944 on: December 31, 2010, 08:53:30 PM »

Thousands forced from homes, military help called in as flood crisis deepens

    * By staff writers
    * From: news.com.au
    * January 01, 2011 10:55AM

Devastating floods continue in Qld

A MASSIVE logistical operation is under way across Queensland to evacuate thousands of people and deliver emergency supplies to communities and properties isolated by the worst flooding in the state's recorded history.

Rising floodwaters have now hit an area bigger than France and Germany combined, with forced evacuations in the central Queensland towns of Emerald, Condamine, Theodore and the regional city of Rockhampton, which is expected to be cut off over the weekend.

More than 1000 people are already staying in 17 evacuation centres. The Queensland Emergency Service said more than 4000 people could be forced to seek sanctuary in the refuges over the next few days.

The military yesterday stepped up its involvement in the crisis, with a RAAF Hercules flying to flood-devastated Emerald - where 1200 people have already abandoned their homes - to set up an emergency shelter as Premier Anna Bligh warned the town was facing a "very serious, dire" situation.

    * Fears: Cyclone, fires threaten

    * Rockhampton flood takes hold The Daily Telegraph, 18 minutes ago
    * Flood begins to take hold in Rockhampton NEWS.com.au, 22 minutes ago
    * Worst flood in Qld history The Daily Telegraph, 12 hours ago
    * Dirty tide covers Queensland Herald Sun, 12 hours ago
    * Forced evacuations begin in Rockhampton The Australian, 19 hours ago

Emerald residents can return home

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire says some Emerald residents may return to their homes this afternoon after the Nogoa River receded slightly.

Mr Maguire said the river, which peaked at 16 metres, had dropped to 15.7 metres this morning.

He said that at best an aerial shot of the entire Central Highlands region showed 1000 homes had been inundated while another 3000 homes had been affected by water.

"We've only worked that out by taking aerial shots," Mr Maguire said.

"There may be more homes affected, we don't know.

"We thought about 1000 houses have been inundated and there's another 3000 that have water around it or in the pool area, shed and things like that.

"People won't know the full extent of the damage until they return.

"The river is starting to drop in places - very, very slowly - and in some areas people may be able to get back to their homes this afternoon."

Mr Maguire said it would be months before life returned to normal in Emerald and the surrounding regions and towns.

Authorities were also predicting that more 40 per cent of Rockhampton, in eastern Queensland, would be affected by the floods as massive volumes of water flow across the plains and are expected to peak at 9m or higher by tomorrow.

Rockhampton faces worst flooding since 1954

Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter said today that if the river reached the forecast level it would be the city's worst flood since 1954.

But he said he wasn't ruling out the prospect of a flood to rival the record 10.11 metres seen in 1918.

"There's just so much water in the system," he said.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said the river was rising just as predicted and there was no relief in sight for Rockhampton residents.

By this morning, the river had reached 8.4 metres.

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire says some Emerald residents may return to their homes on Saturday afternoon after the Nogoa River receded slightly.

Mr Maguire told AAP the river, which peaked at 16 metres, had dropped to 15.7 metres on Saturday morning.

He said that at best an aerial shot of the entire Central Highlands region showed 1000 homes had been inundated while another 3000 homes had been affected by water.

"We've only worked that out by taking aerial shots," Mr Maguire said.

"There may be more homes affected, we don't know.

"We thought about 1000 houses have been inundated and there's another 3000 that have water around it or in the pool area, shed and things like that.

"People won't know the full extent of the damage until they return.

"The river is starting to drop in places - very, very slowly - and in some areas people may be able to get back to their homes this afternoon."

Mr Maguire said it would be months before life returned to normal in Emerald and the surrounding regions and towns.

Evacuation centres set up

Emergency services set up an evacuation centre to house 1500 people at Central Queensland University, but plan to expand the capacity to 2200 later today with other refuges.

A convoy of trucks yesterday delivered 250 tonnes of food and supplies to Rockhampton while the roads were still clear, with two supermarkets flooded.

Residents had already stripped the shelves of essentials. Plans are being devised to use alternative methods of transport - including barges and military airdrops - to deliver supplies if the city and surrounding region remain cut off for up to a week, as some local authorities fear.

A further 1500 tonnes of supplies were being trucked north late yesterday and today to surrounding townships and the major centres of Townsville, Mackay and Cairns.

Authorities said it was still unclear how many people were homeless, but there are predictions that up to 200,000 people have been affected by the disaster.

Many of the evacuees could remain homeless for weeks.

With AAP, The Weekend Australian and The Courier-Mail.


Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/thousands-forced-from-homes-military-help-called-in-as-flood-crisis-deepens/story-e6frfkvr-1225979694261#ixzz19kD1ad9L
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« Reply #945 on: December 31, 2010, 08:55:28 PM »

Mop-up starts while others wait

    * by Kelmeny Fraser
    * From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
    * January 01, 2011 9:54AM

THE mop-up began in earnest for flood-struck residents in several regional Queensland towns today, but the worst is still to come for others.

Preparations continued this morning in Rockhampton, where at least 2000 people are predicted to evacuate homes by early next week when flooding hits its peak.

Water levels in the Fitzroy River are at 8.2m and climbing, expected to reach 9m by tomorrow and peak at 9.4m on Tuesday - affecting almost half the population.

Residents in low-lying areas have been busy stockpiling food and making plans to retreat to higher ground as flood waters creep higher.

By the time flood waters reach the 8.5m mark, about 400-500 homes are expected to have water through their homes.

Rockhampton's airport is expected to be closed as early as this afternoon, along with the Bruce Highway south of Rockhampton and Capricorn Highway to the west.

The clean-up has begun for hundreds of flood-struck Bundaberg residents as flood waters continue to recede.

About 200 homes in Bundaberg have been inundated by flood waters and a total 700 properties affected.

In Theodore, where almost 400 residents were evacuated late last week, homeowners are being kept away by a second wave of flooding that has raised the Dawson River to 14.65m - the same level that triggered the evacuation.

Banana Shire Mayor John Hooper said the earliest residents would be able to return was mid-next week, but it could be longer with repairs of the town's water treatment plant and electrical safety checks of homes needed.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/mop-up-starts-while-others-wait/story-e6freoof-1225979899944
 
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« Reply #946 on: December 31, 2010, 09:02:33 PM »

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

I expect all our monkeys would be wishing for the same things in 2011.  As well as health, happiness and world peace, we have to be all wishing for less Missing Persons and an end to and and all abuse of children and animals.

I hope this photo gallery loads of our Sydney Harbour Fireworks display at midnight :

http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/nsw/sydney-sees-in-2011/20101231-19c2g.html
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« Reply #947 on: January 01, 2011, 09:23:20 PM »

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

I expect all our monkeys would be wishing for the same things in 2011.  As well as health, happiness and world peace, we have to be all wishing for less Missing Persons and an end to and and all abuse of children and animals.

I hope this photo gallery loads of our Sydney Harbour Fireworks display at midnight :

http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/nsw/sydney-sees-in-2011/20101231-19c2g.html
The fireworks display was absolutely spectacular. Thanks for the pictures. They also had pictures of the flooded areas.  Prayers for all the people affected. an angelic monkey
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« Reply #948 on: January 02, 2011, 09:17:15 PM »

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

I expect all our monkeys would be wishing for the same things in 2011.  As well as health, happiness and world peace, we have to be all wishing for less Missing Persons and an end to and and all abuse of children and animals.

I hope this photo gallery loads of our Sydney Harbour Fireworks display at midnight :

http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/nsw/sydney-sees-in-2011/20101231-19c2g.html
The fireworks display was absolutely spectacular. Thanks for the pictures. They also had pictures of the flooded areas.  Prayers for all the people affected. an angelic monkey


Glad the photo galleries worked OK - they sometimes do out out of the originating countries.

The floods are horrific and difficult to realise by the rest of us that so many people have lost their homes, along with their livelihoods, as most of these areas are primary producing with beef, crops, fruit and vegetables grown.  Also that so many cities and towns are isolated.  Kudos to the volunteer services and military personnel for all their assistance.

A little item to put it in perspective :

Think Big
Queensland is big. Covering 1,727,000 square kilometres, it is Australia’s second largest State after Western Australia. It represents more than a quarter of the country’s total area. And it’s the fastest growing State in Australia, with a current population of over three million people. To put Queensland in perspective, it’s more than seven times the size of the United Kingdom, more than four and half time the size of Japan, around six and half times the size of New Zealand, more than five times the size of Texas. Yet Queensland is relatively uncrowded.


http://www.touristaustralia.com.au/destinations/queensland/



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« Reply #949 on: January 02, 2011, 09:21:00 PM »

Rockhampton facing catastrophe as more cyclones are predicted

    * Anna Caldwell and AAP
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 03, 2011 10:39AM
    * 40 comments

THE military is rushing supplies to the flood-stricken city of Rockhampton before the last road link is cut, as evacuation centres prepare for up to 1000 evacuees.

The Fitzroy River rose to 9 metres overnight, sending a tide of dirty water into more homes in the central Queensland city.

Rockhampton's airport runway is already underwater and road links to the south and west are cut.

Military aircraft will fly essential supplies to Mackay, to the north. From there, they'll be trucked into Rockhampton before the Bruce Highway is cut amid forecasts of a 9.4 metre flood peak on Wednesday.

"That will continue until such time as the road is cut," Deputy Police Commissioner and State Disaster Coordinator Ian Stewart said.

"We believe that peak will come in the next 48 hours.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has arrived in the city to ensure everything's being done to keep its 75,000 people safe.

Ms Bligh says the welfare of Rockhampton residents is paramount.

``With water continuing to rise in Rockhampton, I'll be ensuring we have all the preparations on the ground needed to protect them,'' she said.

''Supplying them with food and ensuring we keep them safe in the floods is absolutely critical.''

Evacuation centres in Rockhampton are preparing for up to 1000 residents, as the floods take hold.

At 9.4 metres, about 400 homes are expected to be inundated, with thousands more parcels of land affected.

Many are already underwater, and police have been wading through chest-high water to ensure no one is left in inundated properties.

With catchments across the state at record peaks and dams overflowing, concerns are mounting that severe wet weather and the high chance of another cyclone will see towns ravaged more than once this summer.

Already, 1400 properties are affected in Rockhampton, yet the Fitzroy River is still rising  and a thunderstorm is forecast for the region today.

Meanwhile, a 41-year-old Burketown woman became the eighth fatality in the floods, after her car was swept off a crossing in the northwest on Saturday night.

Experts have warned the flood risk is not over for the storm season.

Emergency Management Queensland acting assistant director-general Warren Bridson said authorities were "very conscious'' of the likelihood that more wet weather could be around the corner.

"The Bureau of Meteorology predicted this to be a very severe wet season,'' Mr Bridson said.

"We still have three months ahead of us, so we must expect lots more of what we're currently having.'' In November, weather bureau chief Jim Davidson gave an unprecedented warning to the Bligh Government about the possibility of five or six cyclones this season.

"We've had one,'' Mr Bridson said.

"Theoretically we have four to go.''

Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said authorities were taking the advice very seriously.

"Disaster groups are obviously focusing on dealing with this particular situation, but their minds are certainly looking to the future,'' he said.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/rockhampton-facing-catastrophe-as-more-wet-weather-predicted/story-e6freon6-1225980658538
 
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« Reply #950 on: January 02, 2011, 09:23:56 PM »

Time to hightail it out of town as snakes search for high ground

    * Peter Michael
    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 03, 2011 9:57AM
    * 21 comments

AS IF flooded Queenslanders didn't have enough to worry about, snakes are also on the move to escape the rising waters - bringing them into closer contact with people.

Kylie Alexander  who was bitten by an eastern brown snake last week  told The Courier-Mail she was lucky to survive a 12-hour ordeal and 400km mercy dash from her cattle station west of Clermont, which is totally cut-off and isolated by floods.

"Snakes are everywhere out there,'' said the 32-year-old mother-of-one, speaking from her bed in Mackay Base Hospital.

"They come out of the floods in their thousands looking for high ground, some end up in the house.''

She said her arm was burning and her lymph nodes had swollen within an hour of the bite despite a compression bandage and splint.

"It was a smaller snake and I think it only got one fang into me, luckily for me,'' she said.

"I tried my best not to panic. Time was ticking by and I thought I might not make it. My little girl was terrified I might die.''

Her dash to safety involved crossing two branches of flood-swollen Mistake Creek on a tractor after heavy weather grounded the Mackay-based rescue chopper.

Husband Richard Alexander, a cattle stockman at Epping Forest Station, said it took a huge effort in the dark to get her the 140km to Clermont Hospital  and a shot of antivenene  after authorities called off an aerial rescue.

"This was a life and death situation,'' an angry Mr Alexander said.

"They took hours to decide they couldn't send a chopper and then told us to make a dash for it through the floods.

I understand the chopper crews are busy with evacuations, but we were not some stupid mugs stuck up a tree.

"If it was not for my mate with a 10-tonne loader to get us through the floods she might be dead.''

Mrs Alexander was then flown to Mackay, 280km from Clermont, where she was in a stable condition.

Snake expert Michael O'Brien, from Cairns Tropical Zoo, said many species of snakes and spiders would be on the move.

"They head to homes, trees, any respite from the water, and that is where they come into contact with humans and accidents do happen.''

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/time-to-hightail-it-out-of-town-as-snakes-search-for-high-ground/story-e6freon6-1225980649882
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« Reply #951 on: January 03, 2011, 02:02:07 AM »

Fruit growers face millions of dollars in losses as supply lines are cut by floods

    * From: AAP
    * January 03, 2011 3:52PM

FRUIT growers in flood ravaged central Queensland are facing the possibility of millions of dollars in losses as they struggle to find a way to get their produce to southern markets.

About $4 million worth of pineapples are stranded in the Rockhampton area after floodwaters cut road access to the south of the city.

Around $500,000 worth of lychees and a similar amount in mangoes are also awaiting urgent distribution.

Tropical Pines chairman Mick Cranny said growers had tried to arrange a barge to transport their products from Rosslyn Bay, near Yeppoon but had hit a bureaucratic brick wall.

The only available barge measures 34.5 metres, longer than the 30 metre maximum length imposed by the harbour master, he said.

``It is remarkably difficult dealing with all this bureaucracy,'' he told AAP.

As a last resort, Mr Cranny said produce could be transported by road north to Townsville and then shipped to Melbourne but the northern highway may also be closed in the coming days as floodwaters rise to a peak on Wednesday.

Mr Cranny said if the produce didn't make it south, supermarkets across the country would be left without pineapples in the coming weeks.

``All the pineapples coming onto the market right now in Australia are from this area,'' he said.

Premier Anna Bligh said she was determined to find a way to get the fruit to southern markets.

She said the fresh fruit market across the country was already suffering huge losses due to flood damage across Queensland and NSW.

``The fresh food market around the country will feel it if we can't get this freight out,'' she said.

``We are determined to do everything we can, these people's livelihoods depend on it.''

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/fruit-growers-face-millions-of-dollars-in-losses-as-supply-lines-are-cut-by-floods/story-e6freoof-1225981142736
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« Reply #952 on: January 03, 2011, 02:05:35 AM »

Rockhampton facing catastrophe as more cyclones are predicted and Gillard announces relief funds


    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 03, 2011 4:16PM

A DEFENCE force plane is delivering vital supplies to Rockhampton before the last road is cut, and three Black Hawk helicopters are on standby to help the flood-stricken city.

Acting Defence Minister Warren Snowdon said a co-ordination centre had been sent up to manage the defence force's response to Queensland's flood crisis.

He said a C-130 Hercules carrying food, medical supplies and other items was to land in Mackay at 3pm with supplies then to be ferried by road south to Rockhampton.
Email your flood pics or MMS to 0428 258 117

Mr Snowdon said another supply mission would be flown tomorrow if the roads remained open.

He said there may be grounds for an expanded Australian Defence Force role as the flood crisis rolls on but that would depend on the weather and the scale of the damage.

Mr Snowdon said that there was an ongoing assessment process under way to look at what contingencies might evolve in the future.

Three naval Sea Hawk helicopters were also available to help the flood mission if they were required and one Chinook helicopter was on standby in Townsville to join the effort.

The three Black Hawk helicopters were being redeployed from Emerald to Rockhampton this afternoon.

Meanwhile, relief payments for victims of Queensland's devastating floods will total many hundreds of millions of dollars, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.

Grants of up to $25,000 for small business and more than $1000 for every adult with immediate needs have been made available in one of Australia's biggest ever flood relief packages, announced today.

Ms Gillard paid tribute to communities coping with the worst deluge they had seen and insisted the government would do all it could to help.

"All in all, with commonwealth government assistance flowing, it will be in the order of many hundreds of millions of dollars," she told reporters in Sydney.

"This is very, very severe, affecting communities that are very geographically dispersed."

While outlining a raft of assistant payments, Ms Gillard also revealed Australia had received offers of assistance from New Zealand as well as a call from the US Embassy asking what help it could provide.

In Rockhampton, the Fitzroy River rose to 9 metres overnight, sending a tide of dirty water into more homes in the central Queensland city.

Rockhampton's airport runway is already underwater and road links to the south and west are cut.

Military aircraft will fly essential supplies to Mackay, to the north. From there, they'll be trucked into Rockhampton before the Bruce Highway is cut amid forecasts of a 9.4 metre flood peak on Wednesday.

"That will continue until such time as the road is cut," Deputy Police Commissioner and State Disaster Coordinator Ian Stewart said.

"We believe that peak will come in the next 48 hours."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has arrived in the city to ensure everything's being done to keep its 75,000 people safe.

Ms Bligh says the welfare of Rockhampton residents is paramount.

``With water continuing to rise in Rockhampton, I'll be ensuring we have all the preparations on the ground needed to protect them,'' she said.

''Supplying them with food and ensuring we keep them safe in the floods is absolutely critical.''

Evacuation centres in Rockhampton are preparing for up to 1000 residents, as the floods take hold.

At 9.4 metres, about 400 homes are expected to be inundated, with thousands more parcels of land affected.

Many are already underwater, and police have been wading through chest-high water to ensure no one is left in inundated properties.

With catchments across the state at record peaks and dams overflowing, concerns are mounting that severe wet weather and the high chance of another cyclone will see towns ravaged more than once this summer.

Already, 1400 properties are affected in Rockhampton, yet the Fitzroy River is still rising  and a thunderstorm is forecast for the region today.

Meanwhile, a 41-year-old Burketown woman became the eighth fatality in floods since the start of December, after her car was swept off a crossing in the northwest on Saturday night.

Experts have warned the flood risk is not over for the storm season.

Emergency Management Queensland acting assistant director-general Warren Bridson said authorities were "very conscious" of the likelihood that more wet weather could be around the corner.

"The Bureau of Meteorology predicted this to be a very severe wet season,'' Mr Bridson said.

"We still have three months ahead of us, so we must expect lots more of what we're currently having.'' In November, weather bureau chief Jim Davidson gave an unprecedented warning to the Bligh Government about the possibility of five or six cyclones this season.

"We've had one,'' Mr Bridson said.

"Theoretically we have four to go.''

Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said authorities were taking the advice very seriously.

"Disaster groups are obviously focusing on dealing with this particular situation, but their minds are certainly looking to the future,'' he said.

QUEENSLAND HEALTH UPDATE:

If emergency assistance is required call 000. For less urgent assistance or information, call 13HEALTH. Rockhampton Hospital remains operational. Queensland Health will establish an additional primary health clinic at the Gracemere Family Practice Surgery from today, manned daily by registered nurses with on-call support by the three general medical practitioners between the hours of 8am to 6pm until further notice. The Gracemere Ambulance Service Station is also open 24 hours for assistance.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/rockhampton-facing-catastrophe-as-more-wet-weather-predicted/story-e6freon6-1225980658538
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« Reply #953 on: January 03, 2011, 02:09:23 AM »

David Hasselhoff AKA The Hoff makes his first Sydney appearance at Bondi beach

    * Joel Christie
    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * January 03, 2011 2:24PM

"Don't hassle The Hoff!" was David Hasselhoff's message for fans when he arrived on Bondi beach this afternoon.

After arriving last night, his Bondi visit marks the first in a series of PR engagements for the star, culminating in a VIP party tomorrow evening.

Aided by a troop of models in red bikinis – the Knight Rider actor threw out the ice blocks to awestruck beach-goers, most of which did not know about his appearance on the iconic strip.

When quizzed about his favourite thing about Australia, the perennial ladies man quipped, "The two things that are walking next to me" referring to the swimsuit-clad models next to him.

And when questioned about the origins of his now infamous nickname, 'The Hoff', the TV icon was quick to cite Australia - in fact The Daily Telegraph - as the source of his now ubiquitous title.

Speaking exclusively to Confidential, he said: "The Hoff action stared here and now, wherever I go,  I'm no longer David Hasselhoff, I'm 'The Hoff'. So my message is - don't hassle The Hoff!"

Two people, as far as the Daily Telegraph could see on the ground, waited with Baywatch DVD box sets to get autographs.

The Hoff happily obliged, while grooving the show’s theme song , I’ll Be Ready.

Hasselhoff is in Sydney as part of a lucrative sponsorship contract to promote Splice ice lollies.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/entertainment/confidential/david-hasselhoff-aka-the-hoff-makes-his-first-sydney-appearance-at-bondi-beach/story-e6freq7o-1225981096995
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« Reply #954 on: January 03, 2011, 02:13:28 AM »

Princess Mary strikes a pose for coochie couture coup

Vanda Carson
January 3, 2011

A HEAVILY pregnant Crown Princess Mary has posed for German Vogue, wearing an elaborate gold dress amid carefully arranged boxes of wood.

The photo spread, which follows in the footsteps of German supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who posed naked just days before she gave birth in May, has been published as speculation grows that the 38-year-old may go into labour in coming days.

Vogue has signed an agreement with the royal family ensuring the pictures are not given to other media for three months. However, the regally posed shot, which appears on vogue.com, provides an indication of the glamorous and dignified quality of the forthcoming photo spread.

The palace has said that Mary's official due date is in mid-January, but the doctor who will deliver the twins has said twins often arrive two weeks early.

Morten Hedegaard of the maternity ward at the national hospital in Copenhagen delivered Mary's first two children, Prince Christian and Princess Isabella.

The hospital has already denied Danish media reports that the Crown Princess was depriving other expectant mothers of beds because the palace had reserved nine out of the hospital's 15 delivery rooms to ensure privacy.

A team of midwives and doctors is on standby.

Mary has been on maternity leave since the start of December. Her father, John Donaldson, spent Christmas with his daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren at their home in a palace in central Copenhagen close to the hospital.

The couple moved in to their new home in Frederik VIII's Palace at Amalienborg on December 17.

Mary and Frederik usually spend Christmas at Marselisborg Palace in Aarhus, two hours from Copenhagen, with the Queen and Prince Consort and Frederik's brother Prince Joachim's family.

Last week Frederik told the Danish newspaper BT that Mary was strong. ''She's actually quite good. She is strong,'' he said.

She has withdrawn from public life in the past week and did not take part in the royal family's new year celebrations.

Mary posed for the Vogue photos at Amalienborg last month. She wore dresses by the German design duo Talbot Runhof, a change from her favour of upcoming Danish designers. Talbot Runhof are best known for designing the royal tiara she wore at her wedding in May 2004.

In some of the photographs, Mary wears a figure-hugging red dress with bare shoulders and her right hand strategically placed on her belly.

The photographs were taken by Marc Hom, husband of the sister of Mary's lady in waiting, Caroline Heering.

The magazine shoot also featured the couple's collection of modern art, which decorates their new palace.

It is not the first time Mary has posed for Vogue. As a new bride in November 2004 she appeared on the cover of Australian Vogue.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/people/princess-mary-strikes-a-pose-for-coochie-couture-coup-20110102-19d1w.html
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« Reply #955 on: January 03, 2011, 09:15:56 AM »

OMG

Snakes, cyclones, floods, disruption of food supplies and people cut off from the rest of the country. My heart aches for the people caught up by this disaster.
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« Reply #956 on: January 03, 2011, 09:16:15 PM »

Thank you for your concern 4 Donks. It is heartbreaking to see and hear the stories from those affected.  One report is saying that most folk will take at least 12 months to get back to their normal lives.  And because a lot of the land that is affected is low lying those who live there are unable to insure their houses and belongings against flood damage.  When we lived in Queensland (in the capital Brisbane) it was impossible to get mortgage finance on any house that had been affected by massive floods almost 100 years before, even though there had been a lot of flood mitigation works carried out since then, especially in the city and suburbs. 

Some folk are now able to return to their houses in a few areas but it is hard to imagine what they will return to with mud and rubbish washed everywhere.  More rain is also forecast for the affected areas again during this week.  Perils of living in tropical and sub-tropical belts.
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« Reply #957 on: January 03, 2011, 09:19:36 PM »

We have plenty of scary critters here and it seems tourists in particular do not heed local warnings. Pic of these idiots, who are old enough to know better, at the link :

Tourists saved from croc-infested river

FOUR German tourists were relieved to finally get their feet on dry ground again after a harrowing rescue from a croc-infested river crossing in Kakadu yesterday.

Onlookers were stunned as the visitors drove their rental four-wheel-drive through the flooded crossing at 80km/h.

Police said the two couples ignored closure signs and paid for the foolishness when they became stuck in 1m-deep water in the middle of the 100m-long crossing.

Police duty superintendent Rob Burgoyne said he was gobsmacked by the tourists' actions. "No matter where in the world you're from, if roadways are flooded you stop," he said.

Water extensively damaged the group's vehicle and a police paddy wagon during the rescue.

A 63-year-old man was behind the wheel as the tourists travelled towards Ubirr at Kakadu National Park, but the car's engine failed halfway across the flooded Magela Creek crossing on Oenpelli Rd about 11am.

Large signs indicating the road was closed were metres from the creek crossing. The tourists climbed on top of their vehicle after screams from onlookers warned them against entering.

Police rescued them about 30 minutes later and took them to Jabiru. A contractor retrieved the hire car.

Supt Burgoyne said it was lucky no one was injured during the incident.

"There are all these people in Queensland drowning themselves in cars (during the floods)," he said. "It's extremely dangerous. Always approach water on the road in any form carefully, obey the signs and reduce speed."


http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/01/04/204821_ntnews.html
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« Reply #958 on: January 04, 2011, 11:02:45 PM »

Thank you for your concern 4 Donks. It is heartbreaking to see and hear the stories from those affected.  One report is saying that most folk will take at least 12 months to get back to their normal lives.  And because a lot of the land that is affected is low lying those who live there are unable to insure their houses and belongings against flood damage.  When we lived in Queensland (in the capital Brisbane) it was impossible to get mortgage finance on any house that had been affected by massive floods almost 100 years before, even though there had been a lot of flood mitigation works carried out since then, especially in the city and suburbs. 

Some folk are now able to return to their houses in a few areas but it is hard to imagine what they will return to with mud and rubbish washed everywhere.  More rain is also forecast for the affected areas again during this week.  Perils of living in tropical and sub-tropical belts.
I lived in Florida and before I moved to Alabama and most insurance companies pulled out of the state because of hurricane damage.
The coverage you could get was expensive and almost useless if you lived within a mile of the coast. Federal flood insurance was available but that only covered flooding not wind or rain damage.
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« Reply #959 on: January 05, 2011, 05:12:17 PM »

More rain for flood-stricken Queensland towns will hamper clean-up

    * From: The Courier-Mail
    * January 06, 2011 6:49AM

ROCKHAMPTON'S swollen Fitzroy River peaked at 9.2m yesterday - slightly lower than expected - but more misery is forecast as heavy rain looms for thousands of Queenslanders cleaning up from record floods.

The weather bureau has warned the deluge that has isolated or swamped 40 towns may worsen as localised flash flooding further bloats rivers.

Rain was falling in an area stretching from the NSW border north through the Darling Downs to the devastated central Queensland region and south through Bundaberg, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Bureau forecaster Michelle Berry said the Fitzroy system was expected to get 50mm to 100mm.

"But there will be pockets that will get up to 200mm if not more," she said.

Rain in the flooded Surat and Injune areas would ease today.

Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter was confident conditions would not worsen in the city where about 400 homes have been inundated.

"(Rain) may, in certain instances, provide some local, low-level flooding . . . but overall will have little impact," Cr Carter said. He said it appeared the worst was over but the clean-up and economic recovery would take time. Sixty more police officers have been sent to Rockhampton to help protect vacant homes.

Despite rain west of the Great Dividing Range, about 130 Condamine residents are expected to return to their homes today, with some furious they were forced to leave.

Media have been banned from the town until tomorrow.

"They're going back to devastation," a Western Downs Council spokeswoman said. "We're trying to prepare them as best we can."

As the weather system moves east, it is expected to dump similar falls on the soaked Brisbane Valley and its over-flowing dams.

Ten lives have been lost in the disaster, which has hit about 200,000 Queenslanders and is also costing about $100 million a day in lost coal sales.

Acting Defence Minister Jason Clare said 50 tonnes of food a day was being flown from RAAF Base Amberley, near Ipswich, to Mackay from where it was being trucked south to Rockhampton. All other access roads are cut and the airport remains submerged.

Mr Clare said Defence was ready to move its focus to St George in the southwest which also faces a major flood.

In Emerald, the extent of the disaster is emerging with 1200 homes affected. About 400 had internal water damage. About a third of the town of 14,000 is affected and hundreds of volunteers are helping victims.

Central Highlands Regional Council spokeswoman Monica Sidhu said some residents would be displaced for months and an emerging problem was trying to find medium to long-term accommodation.

Theodore's business owners will be allowed back today followed by residents tomorrow and children on Saturday. The entire town of 500 was evacuated last week.

Near Emerald, residents of Jericho and Alpha yesterday returned home to clean up.

To the south in St George, daybreak brought isolation for 2500 residents after the last highway out of the cotton town was cut. An evacuation centre opened as authorities predicted the Balonne would reach 13.4m tomorrow night – equalling March's record-breaking flood – before topping 14m by Tuesday next week.

 Brian Williams, Paul Donoughue, Tuck Thompson, James O'Loan and Koren Helbig 

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/more-rain-for-flood-stricken-queensland-towns-will-hamper-clean-up/story-e6freon6-1225982756211
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....And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars..  A.B (Banjo) Paterson
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