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Old Apr 4th 2017, 12:21 am   #46
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Default Re: Tropical Cyclone Debbie, North Queensland

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Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
Transport was being provided for people who wanted to leave and did not have the means. Holidaymakers on the islands largely chose to stay at the advice of the resort owners. In a democratic society the police cannot just take over a resort and order everyone to leave just because of a possible cyclone.
You can make those resort owners legally liable for taking care of those tourists if it all goes wrong. That's usually enough to push them into a different balance.

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Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
The same as they cannot order a private company like Qantas to transport people for free.
From what I remember seeing, these types of private company were 'invited in' for discussions of how they could help deal with disasters, within the context of a wider plan - with the expectations they would sign up to support things in those rare times of disaster. Those that didn't, well political capital is valuable...

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In low lying areas of Mackay evacuation orders were made, telling peole to leve because of the possible storm surge. The emergency srvices are now being criticised for doing this - can't win, can we, if that storm surge had arrived at high tide instead of low tide and drowned thousands of people we would have been slated for that too.
People moan, just tell them that next time they won't be warned ...

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Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
Natural Disasters are harder to plan for than man-made ones, but I can assure you that after 2010/11 all Local and District Disaster Management Groups were given a wake up call to update their disaster plans, provide us with Emerg Alert material etc. And they have complied, and are constantly giving us updates for those plans.
And is anyone organising from a joined up perspective and telling them their plans aren't good enough? Anyone can create a plan, particularly in isolation. They need to be joined up and tested to be worth more than the paper they are printed on. For all the problems with the UK civil contingencies lot, they at least got this right (till the tories got in and screwed it up).

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Now, where do you suggest we divert the Fitzroy River catchment to, so that avoids all urban areas on route to the coast?
Well, the 1991 study suggested divert storage upstream of Yaamba, but then discounted it again because it would be expensive. I'd start by looking at that again, or at diverting floods around Rockhampton (also discounted at the time). Would be a way of employing all those that no longer have jobs in resources.
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Old Apr 4th 2017, 8:21 am   #47
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Default Re: Tropical Cyclone Debbie, North Queensland

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Originally Posted by GarryP View Post
You can make those resort owners legally liable for taking care of those tourists if it all goes wrong. That's usually enough to push them into a different balance.
To some extent that already stands. I gather that some tourists are already putting together legal action against the resorts -I believe it was Daydream that was actually still checking people in to their accommodation as the last boat was leaving, and they didn't advise the newcomers at all.

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Originally Posted by GarryP View Post
From what I remember seeing, these types of private company were 'invited in' for discussions of how they could help deal with disasters, within the context of a wider plan - with the expectations they would sign up to support things in those rare times of disaster. Those that didn't, well political capital is valuable...
Again to some extent this already happens, but usually following a disaster. Qantas have often donated flights to help people leave a devastated area, and although its going back a long way, after TC Larry they donated thousands of airline meals to people in the Innisfail area, as well as flying rescue workers in and evacuees out.
Before a disaster happens its a lot trickier though -again using Qantas as an example, where do they draw the line with people wanting to be flown out prior to a cyclone? If they offer flights for free then everyone is going to grab the chance, including a lot of people who otherwise would stay put and may not even live in threatened areas of the town(s). I know many transport companies -taxis and buses- offerd free transport in the threatened area on this occasion.

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Originally Posted by GarryP View Post
People moan, just tell them that next time they won't be warned ...
Never going to happen. Not only is there a legal responsibility for the State to warn and assist (in Queensland this is governed by the Disaster Management Act), but there is a huge moral issue here too. None of us that work in the disaster arena would ever countenance not warning people.

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Originally Posted by GarryP View Post
And is anyone organising from a joined up perspective and telling them their plans aren't good enough? Anyone can create a plan, particularly in isolation. They need to be joined up and tested to be worth more than the paper they are printed on. For all the problems with the UK civil contingencies lot, they at least got this right (till the tories got in and screwed it up).
Yes, a
l the plans have been passed to State for examination and evaluation, and thee has been a huge amount of feedback passed back down to local level. Also the loacl plans are under constant review as new roads and suburbs are built.
As for the Emergency Alert warning plans, my own team spends hours every week testing, refining, providing feedback, and honing our own skills on the system so that when something like TC Debbie comes over the horizon we can react in a timely manner.

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Originally Posted by GarryP View Post
Well, the 1991 study suggested divert storage upstream of Yaamba, but then discounted it again because it would be expensive. I'd start by looking at that again, or at diverting floods around Rockhampton (also discounted at the time). Would be a way of employing all those that no longer have jobs in resources.
Problem would be the huge ocst. State and local funds would never cover it. Something like that would need federal funding -either under the Natural Relief and Recovery Funding Arrangements (NDRRA) which funded a few smaller projects in that line after 2010/11 or as a completely separate project. The problem with trying to use NDRRA funds is that those are designed largely to rebuild/recover areas to their pre-disaster condition, and as such new plans such as you propose aren't covered. Would take a submission up to Federal government level and an awful lot of political interest to get a plan like that through on NDRRA funding. So without that, its reliant on the Feds making the cash available to the State for a whole separate project -and being purely cynical about it they are going to be thinking about how vote-worthy a project like that would be. As many of the areas that go under each time are fairly poor on a socio-economic level (Depot Hill being a prime example) there is not a huge push at Federal level to do anything at present.
So its down to State and local level to continue to manage the situation by providing cyclone shelters, evacuation centres, temporary flood barriers and levees,, warnings and alerts etc



(anyone reading this please note that I am not talking on behalf of my government employers, the facts are the facts, the opinions are my own and do not reflect any official view)
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Last edited by Pollyana; Apr 4th 2017 at 10:17 am.
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