|CPDS Home Contact||Professionalism: Chronological Summary 2011 Flood|
Much about the flood is still to be uncovered - email sent 17/3/12
Re: A blueprint to cut flood risks in Queensland, The Australian, editorial 17/3/12
Your editorial correctly noted that there were more important issues related to preventing a repetition of SE Queensland’s 2011 flood disaster than finger-pointing at individuals whose mistakes during the crisis may have added (say) 300-500mm to the flood peak.
The problem is that the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry had terms of reference that were too narrow to identify the causes of such problems, so there is no prospect of bringing an end to the string of similar fiascos that Queensland has experienced. My reasons for suggesting this are outlined in 2011 Flood.
In his comments on the Floods Commission of Inquiry (The Flood Uncovered, The Australian, 17/3/12) Hedley Thomas pointed to the investigative difficulty of discovering that releases of water from Wivenhoe Dam may have been mismanaged during the flood, and that this may have been covered up. However what has so far been uncovered is merely one very small piece of a very large problem. As was noted in Hedley Thomas’s article:
However, what the Floods Commission of Inquiry was able to ‘uncover’ with its narrow terms of reference has in effect become a red herring to divert attention from much more fundamental problems (just as journalists’ human interest stories involving flood victims had done previously). The problems in SEQWater did not arise in a vacuum, any more than those in Queensland Health and many other Queensland agencies did.